Breast Surgery

BREAST SURGERYThe diagnosis and treatment for breast disease have improved considerably during the past five years. Minimally invasive techniques for breast biopsies have been developed resulting in nothing more than a site covered by a very small band-aid. The following circumstances or procedures may help explain those conditions that may pertain to you:

● Advanced breast biopsy techniques
● Advanced breast cancer treatments

Breast Biopsy

These innovative techniques utilize advanced computer technology, allowing for a precise breast biopsy with excellent cosmetic results. They typically are short 30-45 minute procedures allowing the patient to leave the hospital the same day. These procedures utilize a computer which calculates the exact location of a breast mass based on stereoscopic breast imaging. Precise computer calculations then guide the biopsy instrument through a small incision that is approximately ¼-inch in size where the area of interest is biopsied. If a biopsy is recommended to you by your doctor, perhaps a second opinion by our surgical staff might determine if you are a suitable candidate for this new technique. Traditional biopsy techniques are also provided if you should not be a candidate for advanced breast biopsy techniques.

Breast Cancer

The very thought of a breast lump or even the diagnosis of breast cancer is extremely disturbing. The thought of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatment has profound and unsettling personal implications. It is with a deep-seated feeling of true empathy and understanding that we will approach this difficult issue with you. Our surgical staff will bring all of their experience and expertise to your benefit in treating this very challenging situation. We utilize traditional techniques that are well grounded with cancer treatment protocols as well as leading edge technologies that are in the forefront of the treatment of breast cancer. Examples of some of our new diagnostic and treatment techniques include the following:

● Sentinel lymph node mapping for breast cancer
● Lumpectomy with axillary sampling
● Mastectomy with immediate reconstruction
● Utilization of standard protocols for medical oncologic and radiation oncologic treatments
● Brachytherapy Catheter Placement

Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping for Breast Cancer

One of the major fears associated with breast cancer are its cosmetic results. A common misconception regarding breast cancer surgery is that it is a mutilation of the breast. This is an exaggeration. It is not surgery’s intention to mutilate, disfigure or emotionally stress a patient as a result of an operation. Our conservative approach to the treatment of breast cancer utilizes a technique which is designed to preserve the breast itself and its outward appearance, yet offer a life-saving surgery focused on a surgical solution. Under CERTAIN conditions, if a biopsy performed returns positive for breast cancer, a lumpectomy (re-excision of the previously biopsied site) with Sentinel axilliary lymph node sampling is all that is required. Sentinel lymph node biopsy offers precision with minimal surgery and an excellent cosmetic result.

The lymph nodes are extremely important with regard to the treatment of breast cancer. It is a marker that identifies the possibility that the breast cancer might have spread outside the confines of the original tumor site. The presence of cancer cells in the adjacent lymph nodes of the breast would indicate that the breast cancer might have spread to other locations in the body. We utilize a technique where we inject an extremely weak, medically safe, low-level radioactive tracer into the cancer site. Then by utilizing a Geiger counter, we track to the specific lymph node where the breast cancer is most likely to have spread. This precise method of mapping the cancer allows us with a high degree of certainty that the lymph nodes we have sampled in the axillary area are truly representative of those lymph nodes that have the highest risk of spreading of the breast cancer. The significance of the lymph nodes being positive for breast cancer will then dictate the nature of further treatment after surgery.

Brachytherapy Applicator Placement

In the event that your physician has referred you to a radiation oncologist and after testing and evaluation, your radiation oncologist has recommended brachytherapy as a component of your treatment program, please consider us to perform the applicator placement for this procedure.  Brachytherapy, as performed by your radiation oncologist, is a type of radiation treatment that involves placing a radioactive material directly inside of or next to the tumor as part of breast conservation therapy.  This permits the use of a higher dose of radiation to treat a smaller area in a shorter period of time compared to conventional external radiation therapy.

Careful surgical placement of a device called the SAVITM applicator is temporarily made inside your breast permitting your radiation oncologist to deliver radiation from inside the breast.  This technique targets only tissue where cancer is most likely to recur, while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue.  SAVI enables the reduction of elapsed radiation treatment time from several weeks to under a week with treatments typically occurring twice a day for five days, scheduled at intervals of a minimum of six hours.  Please learn more about the SAVI Brachytherapy Applicator at and its surgical placement from Northeast Surgical Group.

We also would be pleased to offer you our opinion with regard to your breast cancer treatment.