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Capital Health Breast Center Only Program in State to Use Seed Localization in Breast Surgery

Hopewell Twp, NJ Capital Health’s Center for Comprehensive Breast Care announced today that it is the first, and only, breast program in New Jersey offering seed localization for breast surgery patients. The procedure is an alternative to needle localization for women who are having a tumor removed from their breast. Seed localization can help surgeons locate non-palpable tumors during surgery while helping spare healthy tissue.

“As a comprehensive program we have to offer women the best options for detecting and treating their breast cancer,” said Dr. Lisa Allen, director of the Center for Comprehensive Breast Care at Capital Health and a fellowship trained breast surgeon. “Using these very small seeds, we are able to remove less healthy tissue when excising tumors. We are also providing an option that is more comfortable for women during what can be a very stressful and emotional experience.”

During the procedure, which occurs in the days before a patient is scheduled to come in for a lumpectomy, a tiny radioactive seed is placed at the site of the tumor using a needle along with mammogram or ultrasound guidance. Using a handheld device that locates the radioactivity of the seed, the surgeon performing the procedure is able to target the tissue that needs to be removed.

By using radioactive seed localization in the place of the more routine breast needle localization, patients also spend less time preparing the day of the surgery and do not have to arrive at the hospital hours before their surgery. It is also a more comfortable experience. In breast needle localization patients come early on the day of their surgery and must first have the localization procedure done during which a needle is used to insert a wire at the site of the tumor. The wire protrudes from the skin and remains there until it is removed at surgery.

“Bringing this option to patients in NJ has been a team effort in every way,” said Dr. Allen. “It has, and will require, significant coordination and team work between surgeons, our operating room team, radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and pathologists. I want to thank all of them for helping us, again, deliver advanced clinical care in a compassionate manner.”

The Center also announced it is offering 3D mammography, or tomosynthesis, in the Capital Health Women’s Imaging. 3D mammography, or breast tomosynthesis, provides clearer pictures than digital mammography alone. As a result, research has shown that the imaging provides better breast cancer detection rates and a decrease in call backs which means women are less likely to have to return for additional imaging.

The Capital Health Center for Comprehensive Breast Care provides a complete range of breast care under one roof, from annual screenings and advanced diagnostics to genetic testing, leading-edge oncology care and a high risk breast cancer program. The Center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program of the American College of Surgeons.