Oakwood among first to offer new biopsy, lumpectomy procedure

New technology designed to make biopsies and lumpectomies less intimidating, faster and more comfortable for patients is now available at the Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn.

Called radioactive seed localization, it involves injecting tiny iodine or palladium seeds into the breast via a standard 18 gauge needle; the seeds direct surgeons to the suspicious tissue and are removed along with it.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to make surgery less frightening to women and to improve on the already excellent care we provide,” said
Majd Aburabia, MD, an Oakwood-affiliated surgeon who is among the first in the region to use the procedure. “This is technology that is relatively new. It’s an exciting milestone for us.”

Previously, a wire was inserted into the breast for these kinds of procedures. Because it was necessary to keep the wire stationary, the wire would be inserted on the day of surgery and the patients were told not to move until after their procedure. It also protruded from the skin. The seeds can be implanted days ahead of time, shortening the day of surgery, and do not require any other alterations to the patients’ lifestyle. The amount of radiation poses no risk, either, to the patient or those around her.

“We’re excited to be able to offer this,” said Dr. Aburabia. “It’s a lot more comfortable and convenient for the patient. It is better for physicians. It allows us a lot more flexibility.”

It was nearly a three-year process to bring the procedure to Oakwood because of all the regulations that need to be followed, as well as the training and certification of staff. But the benefits it provides to patients and the improved care makes it well worth that journey, said
Sophia Roumanis, MD, an Oakwood-affiliated radiologist who specializes in breast imaging.

“This is an exciting new technology that really is directed to improve patient care,” she said.

“We’re constantly looking for new ways to make the process easier, simpler and less frightening for patients,” added Aburabia. “We’re very glad we have this; it is a better way to target treatment. We do our best to expedite their care and get things done as quickly as possible and make the process as comfortable as possible.

“Women now have more choices and more individualized treatment. Every patient gets their own individualized plan.”

Aburabia recommends that all women aged 40 or older have a mammogram once a year.

For more information,
click here. To schedule an appointment, call 800.543.WELL.