New Nonsurgical Breast Biopsy at NCH
Intact BLES offers minimally invasive approach
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.