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Meet Dr. Howell
​​​​​​​Sandra L. Howell, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Assistant Professor of Surgery


Surgical Disciplines

Clinical Specialty: General Surgery, Specializing in the Treatment of Benign and Malignant Breast ​Disease

Howell Breast Surgical Services
2981 Health Parkway, Suite B
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858
Phone: 989-772-6880
Fax: 989-772-6817



Dr. Howell, an assistant professor of general surgery, is a board-certified general surgeon who specializes in the treatment of benign and malignant breast diseases and skin services. Her practice, a part of CMU Health, offers many services, including genetic testing, routine and high-risk surveillance for breast cancer, in-office ultrasound evaluations, minimally invasive breast biopsies, cryotherapy for benign breast lesions, surgical treatment planning for breast cancer, including breast conservation when appropriate, sentinel node biopsy, oncoplastic surgical techniques, and a survivorship program.

Treatment & Services:
  • Well Person Breast Health Maintenance Program
  • Assessment of Breast Cancer Risk
  • Risk Counseling
  • BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 Sample Attainment and Submission to Laboratory
  • Review of Mammogram Images
  • Clinical Breast and Axillary Examination
  • Assessment of Skin Lesions of the Breasts, Axillae and Chest
  • Excision of Skin Lesions of the Breasts, Axillae and Chest
  • Corrective Surgery for Inverted Nipples
  • Repair of Nipple after Nipple Piercing
  • Treatment of Hidradenitis of the Breast
  • Excision of Accessory Nipple(s)
  • Evaluation and Counseling Regarding Gynecomastia
  • Surgical Treatment of Gynecomastia
  • Wound and Scar Revision, Breast
  • Breast Ultrasound Examination
  • Ultrasound-guided Fine Needle Aspiration
  • Ultrasound-guided Core Breast Biopsy
  • Stereotactic (Mammography-guided) Core Breast Biopsy
  • MRI-guided Core Breast Biopsy
  • Open Incisional Breast or Axillary Biopsy, Benign and Malignant
  • Open Excisional Breast or Axillary Biopsy, Benign and Malignant
  • Cryotherapy of Benign Breast Lesions
  • Nipple Duct Exploration
  • Nipple Duct Cytology – Sample Attainment
  • Ultrasound Wire Localization of Breast Lesions Prior to Surgery
  • Mammogram Wire Localization of Breast Lesions Prior to Surgery
  • MRI Wire Localization of Breast Lesions Prior to Surgery
  • Counseling Regarding Choice of Surgical Treatment for Breast Cancer
  • Breast Conserving Breast Cancer Surgery (Wide Excision Lumpectomy)
  • Injection of Technetium Sulphur Colloid per Sentinel Node Biopsy Protocol
  • Axillary Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
  • Axillary Lymph Node Dissection
  • Mastectomy: Simple, Total, Modified Radical, Radical
  • Oncoplastic Surgical Techniques
  • Attainment and Counseling Regarding Tumor Profile (eg.: OncotypeDx)
  • Patient Education Regarding Reconstructive Options
  • Lymphedema Evaluation and Coordination of Care with Physical Therapy
  • Coordination of Care with Plastic Surgeon</Coordination of Care with Medical and Radiation Oncology
  • Placement of Central Venous Catheter/Port for Administration of
  • Chemotherapy
  • Breast Health Maintenance Program
Specialty in Diseases and Conditions:
  • Well Person Breast Health Maintenance
  • Benign Breast and Axillary Disease: Skin Lesions, Cellulitis, Mastitis, Breast Abscess, Periareola Fistula, Fibrocystic Breast Changes, Breast Pain, Costochondritis, Benign Mastopathy, Nipple Discharge, Galactorrhea, Benign Breast Mass, Fibroadenomata, Axillary Mass, Ectopic Breast Tissue, Axillary Adenopathy, Gynecomastia, Hidradenitis Involving the Axilla and/or Lower Mammary Fold
  • Breast Cancer Screening
  • Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Risk Management Counseling
  • Family History of Breast Cancer, Negative for Genetic Mutation
  • BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 Mutation Positive Family Member
  • BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 Mutation Carrier
  • Suspicious Finding on Breast Examination
  • Suspicious Finding on Mammogram
  • Suspicious Finding on Breast Ultrasound
  • Suspicious Finding on Breast MRI
  • Premalignant, High Risk Breast Tissue Cytology on Biopsy: Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia, Atypical Lobular Hyperplasia
  • Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, Lobular Carcinoma in Situ
  • Invasive Ductal Carcinoma of the Breast
  • Invasive Lobular Carcinoma of the Breast
  • Local/Regional Breast Cancer Metastasis
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer
  • Synchronous Breast Cancers
  • Locally Advanced Breast Cancer
  • Breast Cancer Survivor Health Maintenance
Certifications
  • Diplomate, American Board of Surgery
Specialty Interests:
Treatment of Benign and Malignant Breast Disease, Breast Cancer Risk Counseling and Management, Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques, Cryotherapy, Oncoplastic Surgery Techniques, Translational Research: Transitioning Proven New Technology/Therapeutics from Tertiary Health Centers to Community Health Care Settings, Clinical Practice Application of Electronic Medical Records in the Outpatient Setting, Curriculum Development, Problem Based Learning, Team Based Learning, Course Development, Case Writing, Utility of Electronic Medical Records in Early Medical Education and the Use of Electronic Medical Records as a Tool to Develop and Enhance Critical Thinking, Networking Rural Health Providers to Improve Rural Health Care and Community and Rural Physician Practice Satisfaction

Awards & Honors:
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2002 – 2003
    • The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions, Central Michigan University
  • First Place Winner, Resident's Competition for Research, May 1991
    • Missouri Chapter, American College of Surgeons, Development of a Rat Model for Small Bowel Transplantation
  • Ferdinand C. Helwig Fellowship Award, 1988
    • Funding for a Month of Training in Surgical Intensive Care and Surgical Nutrition Working with Dr. Stanley J. Dudrick, St. Luke's Hospital, Houston, TX
Professional Memberships:
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons
  • Michigan Chapter of the American College of Surgeons
  • American Medical Association
  • Michigan State Medical Society
  • Isabella/Clare County Medical Society
  • American Society of Breast Surgeons
  • American Association of Medical Colleges, Group on Women in Medicine
  • National Rural Health Association
Institutional Memberships:
  • Interim Executive Committee of Central Michigan University's College of Medicine
  • Interim Faculty Group Practice Executive Board
  • Senator Representing CMED, CMU Academic Senate
  • CMED Faculty Recruitment Committee
  • CMED Surgical Discipline's Chair Recruitment Committee
Hospital Affiliations & Activities:
  • Member, Medical Staff, McClaren Central Michigan Hospital
  • Chairman, Cancer Committee, McClaren Central Michigan Hospital
  • Member, McClaren Central Michigan Hospital Tumor Board
Community Roles & Volunteer Services:
  • Founding Member, Circle of Hope, Breast Screening Assistance Program
  • Co-Medical Director, Community Cancer Services of Isabella County
Education & Fellowships:
  • Residency Training
    • University of Missouri
      St. Luke's Hospital
      Kansas City, MO
      1991
  • Internship
    • University of Missouri
      St. Luke's Hospital
      Kansas City, MO
      1987
  • ​Medical School
    • University of Missouri
      Columbia, MO
      1986
  • Undergraduate
    • Central Michigan University
      Majors: Chemistry, English
      Mt. Pleasant, MI
      1979
Languages Spoken:
  • French
  • English​