New Non­sur­gi­cal Breast Biopsy at NCH

In­tact BLES of­fers min­i­mally in­va­sive ap­proach

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NCH is the first health care sys­tem in the state of Florida to use the In­tact Breast Le­sion Ex­ci­sion Sys­tem (In­tact BLES), a new min­i­mally in­va­sive ap­proach to breast biopsy.

“The In­tact BLES sys­tem has a role in di­ag­nos­ing breast le­sions dis­cov­ered dur­ing women’s pre­ven­tive mam­mo­grams,” says Dr. Sharla Gayle Pat­ter­son, med­i­cal direc­tor of the NCH Cen­ter for Breast Health. “Breast can­cer risk in­creases as peo­ple live longer. We want to help women live happy, healthy life­styles.”

Pro­ce­dures us­ing the In­tact BLES wand sys­tem are done in the of­fice and use lo­cal anes­the­sia rather than surgery us­ing gen­eral anes­the­sia. The en­tire tu­mor is re­moved in less than 10 sec­onds us­ing ul­tra­sound imag­ing and the In­tact “capture bas­ket.” Be­cause there is only a small in­ci­sion that is closed with a ban­dage, there is min­i­mal pain, very lit­tle bleed­ing, no surgery scar, no fa­tigue from gen­eral anes­the­sia and low­ered in­fec­tion risk.

One of the pri­mary ben­e­fits, how­ever, is that pathol­o­gists can po­ten­tially eval­u­ate the en­tire le­sion and its mar­gins rather than just a por­tion.

“It’s not just for ma­lig­nant tu­mors; it’s for be­nign ones as well,” Dr. Pat­ter­son ex­plains. “If we take only a core biopsy, we can’t say with cer­tainty that the en­tire tu­mor was be­nign. If we take the whole tu­mor us­ing the In­tact BLES sys­tem, we can. This can spare women un­nec­es­sary surg­eries and al­le­vi­ate anx­i­ety.”

In­tact can be used with women who have im­plants or dense breasts as long as the im­age is clear. The sys­tem leaves be­hind a mi­cro­scopic marker to iden­tify where the tu­mor was.

NCH pur­chased two ma­chines last fall from Medtronic, a world­wide med­i­calde­vice tech­nol­ogy com­pany, which launched the sys­tem in Septem­ber 2017.

“Our team is very par­tic­u­lar about choos­ing the right sur­geons with the right skills,” says Suzanne Foster, vice pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager for Medtronic. “We want to part­ner with board-cer­ti­fied, fel­low­ship-trained breast sur­geons.”

NCH is the 12th health care sys­tem in the coun­try in­vited to pur­chase the tech­nol­ogy. Pat­ter­son has now logged the most ex­pe­ri­ence us­ing In­tact BLES.

She works as a team with NCH Imag­ing ra­di­ol­o­gist Dr. Priyanka Handa, who has spear­headed the tech­nique at NCH Imag­ing Cen­ter. Handa is a breast-imag­ing fel­low­ship­trained ra­di­ol­o­gist cer­ti­fied by the Amer­i­can Board of Ra­di­ol­ogy.

Sharla Gayle Pat­ter­son, M.D.

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