Radioactive seed localization of nonpalpable breast lesions in an academic comprehensive cancer program community hospital setting

Jeffrey C Chiu, Saira Ajmal, Xiang Zhu, Elizabeth Griffith, Tiffany Encarnacion, Louis Barr
American Surgeon 2014, 80 (7): 675-9
Wire localized excision (WLE) has been a long-standing method for localization of nonpalpable breast lesions. Disadvantages of this method include difficulty locating the wire tip in relation to borders of the lesion, imprecise placement of the wire, and the need to place the wire shortly before scheduled surgery. These shortcomings may lead to a high positive margin rate requiring re-excision to obtain clear margins for breast cancer. Radioactive seed localized excision (RSLE) of nonpalpable breast lesions has been advocated as a safe and effective alternative to WLE. The primary endpoints of the study were to compare re-excision rates between WLE and RSLE of nonpalpable breast lesions and to determine if there were any differences in volume of tissue removed. One hundred three patients were included in a retrospective review of localized breast excisions done by a single surgeon. Forty-four patients underwent WLE between April 2007 and February 2009. Fifty-nine patients underwent RSLE between September 2009 and January 2012. Margins were considered to be clear if at least 1 mm of normal tissue was obtained from the circumferential periphery of the lesion in question. RSLE resulted in a re-excision rate of 17 versus 55 per cent re-excision rate for wire localization (P < 0.001). Excision volume was greater for patients having wire localization (P = 0.074). RSLE is an effective technique for excision of nonpalpable breast lesions in the community setting. This technique allows for accurate localization and appears to allow for smaller volume of tissue to be excised.

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