BreastCare Center News

Introducing the new Co-Director of the BreastCare Center, Dr. Sonali Pandya


BID Needham is proud to introduce breast surgeon Dr. Sonali Pandya as the new co-director of the BreastCare Center at BID Needham. Dr. Pandya received her medical degree from Saint George’s University. She completed her residency in general surgery at Albany Medical Center and her fellowship in breast surgical oncology at Women and Infants Hospital and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Dr. Pandya joins us from Women and Infants Hospital, where she brings many years of surgical experience in breast care and the management of benign and malignant breast cancer and diseases. Dr. Pandya’s clinical interests include high-risk screening, young women and breast cancer, and minimally invasive and hidden scar surgery. To make an appointment at the BreastCare center, please call 781-453-3800.

Meet the Director of Breast Imaging

Vandana Dialani, MD, FSBI


I am very excited to take on the role as Director of Breast Imaging at BID-Needham to continue to provide the highest-quality breast care to our community, working with the best minds and integrating innovative, new state-of-the-art technology.

I have been the director of Breast MRI for all Beth Israel Deaconess breast care sites since 2013. In that role, I ensure that all of our patients have access to the same breast care and treatments as at our academic medical center in downtown Boston. As a part of the BID system for over 12 years, it has been exciting to see the breast imaging services grow at BID–Needham. I am thrilled to see the center in Needham to bring the latest treatments, equipment and services to our patients.

There have been several new developments in the BID-Needham Radiology system: we have grown from having just one 2d mammography and ultrasound unit to this world-class breast care center. The Needham Radiology team is now able to offer 3d Tomosynthesis mammograms to our patients; we also installed our second 3d mammography system in the fall of 2017 due to increasing demand and clinical benefit of this technology.

We perform image-guided biopsies and radiological procedures with the same set of excellent radiologists from BIDMC, following the same protocols as followed at our site downtown. We have started providing consult from our expert set of radiologists on outside imaging so patients continue to get the same excellent standard of care. We have been able to successfully establish a Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic which now offers comprehensive breast care for patients in the comfort of their community surroundings.

The breast imaging radiologists perform Sentinel lymph node injections in the breast center so the patient gets all the pre-surgical procedures within the same space which causes less anxiety of moving within different spaces within radiology. Nurse practitioner Dorothy Ambrose with her kind and caring nature and guided meditations makes image guided procedures less daunting for patients.

About Dr. Dialani: Vandana Dialani, MD, FSBI, is the director of Breast MRI for all Beth Israel Deaconess breast care sites and the director of Breast Imaging at BID–Needham's BreastCare Center. She is also an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School with about 40 publications in peer reviewed journals. She completed fellowships at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) from 2005-2006. She is actively involved in translational MRI research at BIDMC and in collaboration with other prestigious institutions such as University of California San Diego and a site principal investigator for an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) and the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) trial on Comparison of Abbreviated Breast MRI and Digital Breast Tomosynthesis in Breast Cancer Screening in Women with Dense Breasts. She is also a fellow of the prestigious Society of Breast Imaging (SBI).

An Evening of Celebration


On October 3, 2018, the faculty of the Linsey BreastCare Center at BIDMC hosted an intimate evening of mini-lectures, discussion, and dinner for breast cancer patients and survivors. When our lives are touched by cancer, we face challenges that go beyond health to our overall happiness and well-being. There is also the potential for joy: in sharing experiences with others, embracing new self-care strategies and savoring the beauty of life.

Dr. Ted James, Chief, Breast Surgery, and Co-Director of the Linsey BreastCare Center welcomed guests and led an interactive discussion focused on celebrating survivorship. Guests were asked to take a few moments to reflect on meaningful and positive feelings they are now experiencing as they recover from breast cancer.

Danielle Hall, PhD, Psychologist and Integrative Medicine Fellow, led a guided meditation and provided a brief overview of the Cheng-Tsui Integrated Health Center at BIDMC which is a resource for people with cancer. Integrated medicine is the use of complementary practices like acupuncture, meditation, yoga and tai chi in evidence-based ways, in addition to standard medical care for cancer.

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C, Manager Emeritus, and Oncology Social Work, led a discussion “Taboo: Let’s Talk About the Things We Don’t Talk About.” Hester’s conversations with the guests were lively and well received.

The Evening of Celebration was a special event that helped create an environment of community, mutual support and well-being.

Dr. Ted James named to Boston Magazine’s Top Doctors of 2019 list

Boston Magazine’s Top Doctors of 2019 features Dr. Ted James, chief of Breast Surgery and co-director of the Linsey BreastCare Center at BIDMC and a breast surgeon at BID–Needham. His practice focuses on the surgical management of breast disease. Dr. James helps patients navigate complex treatment decisions and challenges that often accompany a cancer diagnosis. His greatest satisfaction is seeing patients successfully move forward after treatment. Dr. James is a faculty member of Harvard Medical School and conducts research on improving patient outcomes through research and education. Read more about Dr. James here:

Stacy’s Juicebar October Fundraiser for BreastCare Center

A huge thank you goes out to Stacy’s Juicebar in Needham for raising over $13,000 toward the BreastCare Center at BID–Needham. For the second straight year, Stacy’s sold pink “Wellness Cocktails” and included a free bag of Stacy’s Pita Chips, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Center. The fundraiser was held throughout the entire month of October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


Hidden Scar Surgery offers peace of mind

James.jpg#asset:7775:urlAs a breast surgeon, Ted A. James, MD, MS, FACS, knows that a patient’s surgical scars can have a long-lasting emotional and psychological impact. Last year, Dr. James began performing “Hidden Scar” surgery to greatly minimize the scarring that occurs from lumpectomies. Depending on the location of a breast tumor, Dr. James can create a concealed incision using techniques similar to those employed by plastic surgeons. “Not having an incision that is a visible, daily reminder of the experience you went through has tremendous benefit in terms of well-being, quality of life and getting back to your normal routine,” says Dr. James. The co-director of the BIDMC BreastCare Center in Boston, Dr. James performs surgery at both BIDMC in Boston and BID–Needham. To make an appointment at the BreastCare Center in Needham, please call 781-453-3800.

Needham Youth Football shows its colors to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month


The BreastCare Center at BID–Needham, along with the Lank Cancer Center at BID–Needham, donated pink socks and ribbons for Needham Youth Football and Cheer in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this past October. All of the players and cheer teams were outfitted in pink.

Lymphedema Symposium for Patients and Clinicians


BIDMC hosted its second annual Lymphedema Symposium on November 2-3, 2018. The Symposium, attended by 197 clinicians, featured world-renowned international faculty and offered participants the opportunity to learn about the state-of-the-art advancements in lymphedema diagnosis and treatment. This year’s program focused on breast cancer-related lymphedema.

In addition to the clinical symposium, BIDMC also hosted a patient symposium. 182 patients attended this full-day program, an inspiring event that highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary team approach to care.

Both the patient and clinical symposiums were capped off by a keynote address given by Lymphatic Education and Research Network (LE&RN) Spokesperson and Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates. As a patient living with lymphedema, Ms. Bates is a fierce advocate for patients.

Lymphedema is a chronic lymphatic disease that results in disfiguring swelling in one or more parts of the body. It can be hereditary (Primary Lymphedema) or it can occur after a surgical procedure, infection, radiation or other physical trauma (Secondary Lymphedema). BIDMC is on the forefront of treatment for lymphedema, both surgically and non-surgically. BIDMC is one of the few hospitals in the world, and the only one in New England, to offer patients innovative bypass surgery to prevent lymphedema. We also offer lymph node transfer surgery for patients with chronic lymphedema. To find out more, visit

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