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Neal S. Topham, MD, FACS

Neal Topham, MD, FACS

Clinical Locations

Primary Location

Fox Chase Cancer Center
333 Cottman Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111

About

Chief, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Treatment Focus

Reconstructive microsurgery; breast reconstruction, including free tissue transfer (TRAM, muscle-sparing TRAM, DIEP, latissimus dorsi) flaps; head & neck reconstruction; extremity reconstruction; complex abdominal wall reconstruction; complex chest wall reconstruction; melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer reconstruction; perineal reconstruction; soft tissue sarcoma reconstruction

Key Awards

  • Philadelphia Magazine Top Doctors, 2010-2016
  • America’s Top Doctors® 2016
  • Best Doctors in America® 2013, 2014

Treatment Philosophy

During treatment for certain types of cancer, patients may end up with an altered appearance. It may be on their face, ear, or breast, or it may be an extremity. As a surgeon who specializes in reconstructive microsurgery, I believe in offering comprehensive care for patients, covering the breadth of the imperfections that result from treating breast and head & neck cancers, as well as sarcomas.

I provide all reconstructive options for my patients, rather than a select few. This is especially true for breast cancer, where women are very specific about the results they want. This approach allows each procedure to be tailored to the needs of the patient.

Informing my patients about what they can expect pre- and post-operatively is very important to me. My patients should feel comfortable to ask as many questions as necessary. I believe an informed patient understands the procedure better and can accept his or her limitations easier.

The goals of reconstructive surgery are to provide form and function, especially in patients with sarcoma (who require the use of their extremities) and head & neck cancer. Cosmetic principles are used in aesthetically sensitive areas, such as the face, to minimize scarring, while effectively treating the cancer.

While I cannot fully understand what it is like to have cancer, I know that it is extremely challenging for many patients. Our goal is to provide a supportive atmosphere while caring for patients through this difficult time in their lives.

Follow on Twitter: @FCCCSurgOnc

Education, Training & Credentials

Educational Background

  • Fellow, Plastic Surgery Tissue Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Fellow, Microvascular and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Resident, General Surgery, Akron Medical Center, Akron, OH
  • Resident, Plastic Surgery, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • MD, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 1994

Certifications

  • American Board of Plastic Surgery

Honors & Awards

  • Philadelphia Magazine Top Doctors, 2010-2016
  • America’s Top Doctors® 2016
  • Best Doctors in America® 2013, 2014
Patient Stories

Diana Robinson

Breast Cancer

Diana Robinson

Breast Cancer

In the 25 years that Diana Robinson has been with her partner, Jan, they've shared everything - a love of gardening, social and family time, as well as boating at their New Jersey beach home. Cancer was not supposed to be on that list.

Jill Scheetz

Breast Cancer

Jill Scheetz

Breast Cancer

At the age of 37, in 2002, Jill Scheetz was just getting back into shape after the birth of her two daughters. She considered herself to be physically active and a healthy eater. "My only vice was a caffeinated iced tea almost every day," shared Jill. Although it doesn't sound terrible, her doctor recommended she stay away from caffeine because she had a benign tumor which was removed from her breast when she was 18. When her left breast began to hurt, Jill made an appointment for a mammogram (it had been five years since her last one).

Sister Marcille McEntee

Skin Cancer;  Ureteral Cancer

Sister Marcille McEntee

Skin Cancer;  Ureteral Cancer

Sister Marcille McEntee is no stranger to miracles.  As a Sister, and Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, her faith is deep and abiding.  Yet to see a miracle at work in her own life is still a special blessing.  

Laura Marblestone

Breast Cancer

Laura Marblestone

Breast Cancer

Laura Marblestone's mother was only 43 when she lost her fight with breast cancer. That's why Laura, a registered nurse and resident of Langhorne, PA, regularly performed breast self-exams. In May 1990, at the age of 40, Laura detected lumps in her left breast. Results from a lumpectomy were benign, but around the same time, she developed a lump under her arm, which her doctor said was a swollen lymph gland, likely related to the surgery. "He told me it was nothing, I didn't have to worry."

Nicole Holtz

Breast Cancer

Nicole Holtz

Breast Cancer

After several biopsies and a lumpectomy at her local hospital, Nicole Holtz did not feel confident that she was getting the treatment she needed for her diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) breast cancer. “I continued to have a discharge from my breast. The surgeon admitted he did not get all of the cancer and time was moving on,” recalled the mother of two young daughters. “My husband was really freaking out.” She had first felt a painful lump in her breast in February 2010, but she did not have a lumpectomy until November of the same year. 

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Research Profile

Research Interests

  • Breast reconstruction
  • Head and neck reconstruction