Breast Cancer Surgery
Breast cancer is less common in younger women than older women, but younger women are more likely to have hereditary breast cancer.
1 in every 500 women in the US has either a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
Surgery for Breast Cancer
In most cases, women with breast cancer require surgery. There are different types of breast cancer surgery that can be performed for a variety of reasons. There are two main categories of breast cancer surgery: breast-conserving surgery (also known as lumpectomectomy, quadrantectomy, partial mastectomy, or segmental mastectomy) or a mastectomy. In the early stages of cancer, women are sometimes able to choose between breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy.
MEDARVA Surgery Centers
MEDARVA Surgery Centers are Virginia's premier independent surgery centers. With two convenient locations in central Virginia, Stony Point Surgery Center and West Creek Surgery Center provide a high-value, low cost surgical option for breast cancer surgery.
If a breast-conserving surgery is possible, the use of a Magseed® marker can lead to a more accurate breast surgery. Magseed provides a minimally invasive solution for surgeons to locate a breast tumor and remove it in one operation. Surgeons are also typically able to remove less breast tissue than with other breast cancer surgery options like wire localization.
Wire localization requires a patient to come into a hospital or imaging center the day of their tumor removal so a radiologist could identify a tumor’s location and place a small wire into the breast. The wire sticks out through the patient’s skin to guide the surgeon to the tumor for removal. This procedure has been the standard for many years, but it is uncomfortable and requires the patient to arrive for surgery earlier.
The Magseed® marker has helped tens of thousands of women around the world have better outcomes from their breast surgery. The small, non-radioactive, unbreakable marker is undetectable to the woman once it's in place. It can be placed up to a month before surgery in a procedure that’s very similar to the biopsy process. The marker is approximately the size of a grain of sand and creates a strong magnetic field around the tumor. During surgery, it provides multidirectional sensing to the surgeon for easy removal. The Magseed marker provides a much more streamlined surgical process for each patient, which allows surgeons to see more patients.
“There is nothing nice about having to go through cancer surgery, and no one wants to go through it more than once,” said Kandace P. McGuire, MD. “Removing cancerous tumors is now a ‘one and done’ procedure thanks to the Magseed® device we’re using at MEDARVA Surgery Centers.”
Magseed® Surgery at MEDARVA Surgery Centers
MEDARVA Surgery Centers are the only outpatient surgical facility currently offering breast cancer surgery using the Magseed® marker in central Virginia. With shorter wait times and less delays in a convenient location, patients are able to get back home to recuperate faster.
New Breast Cancer Surgery Technology
Another new technology that is helping to change breast cancer surgery procedures is a device called Biozorb. Biozorb is a 3D bioabsorbable spiral with six surgical marker clips that can be used in the cavity left after a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy. With six sizes available, surgeons are able to size the shape of the cavity created by the tumor removal and then suture the Biozorb into the cavity. Once the Biozorb spiral is in place, the surgical area can be easily identified on imaging with the marker clips, allowing greater precision when radiation treatments are needed. Over time, the breast tissue grows around and through the Biozorb spiral, which is then resorbed by the body over the course of a year or more. The six marker clips remain in the breast permanently for any future identification. The design of the Biozorb can also be used with oncoplastic surgical options to help maintain the shape of the breast.
As breast cancer patients have better and better outcomes, those who opt for breast reconstruction have a number of good choices. One of the more recent developments in this area of plastic surgery is the DIEP flap procedure.
The DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flap uses skin, fat and blood supply removed from the lower belly to form a new breast. Using careful microsurgical technique – a surgical microscope helps the surgeon join the small blood vessels in the flap to an artery in the chest – the skin and fat is formed into a new breast at the mastectomy site. A benefit of this procedure is a “tummy tuck”, resulting in a flatter lower abdomen.
If the nipple has been saved during the mastectomy, it is placed in the flap. If not, nipple reconstruction can be done at a later date, using one of the many techniques available today.
Breast cancer treatments can be an overwhelming experience. With new advancements like Magseed, Biozorb, and DIEP the process can be as streamlined and non-invasive as possible, helping patients get back to feeling like themselves as soon as possible.
Dr. McGuire is chief of breast surgery and surgical leader of the Breast Health Program at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center. She joined VCU in September 2017 and also serves as an associate professor of surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology at the VCU School of Medicine.
Back to Your Life After Breast Cancer
Dr. Aboutanos is an award-winning board certified plastic surgeon serving patients in Richmond, Virginia. She is committed to caring for her patients and providing them with the most natural and beautiful results possible.