Emerging Technologies

The management of both benign and malignant breast problems is an ever-evolving field.  We at Central Ohio Surgical Associates, both the Metropolitan Surgery and Mid-Ohio Surgical branches, are proud to be in the forefront of these advances in breast care.  Not all of these techniques and technologies are available to all patients, so if any of these are potentially applicable to your care, your physician will discuss this with you thoroughly.

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy

Sentinel lymph node biopsy is considered the “standard of care” for evaluation of your lymph nodes for early stage breast cancer.  This has replaced the complete axillary dissection that was done in years past, and greatly reduces the risk of lymphedema (swelling and pain) in a woman’s arm after breast cancer surgery.  We have been performing sentinel lymph node biopsy for early stage breast cancers for over ten years at Central Ohio Surgical Associates.  We also have experience in performing this technique after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and in the augmented breast.

Skin Sparing Mastectomy

Skin sparing mastectomy is a technique used when planning for reconstruction immediately after a mastectomy for breast cancer. The breast tissue is removed to treat a patient’s breast cancer, but much of the skin is left behind for the plastic surgeon to use as an envelope for the implant reconstruction.  This technique is not applicable to all patients, but if you are deemed a candidate, your surgeon and plastic surgeon will discuss this with you.

Breast Brachytherapy

Breast brachytherapy is a post-operative radiation technique that is available to some women who choose to undergo lumpectomy as treatment for their breast cancer.  This is technology is not standard, but considered an alternative to traditional whole breast radiation. This therapy was approved for breast cancer treatment by the FDA in 2002.  We at Central Ohio Surgical Associates have experience with this catheter-based radiation technique since its initial approval by the FDA, and this is performed in conjunction with our radiation therapy colleagues at Mt Carmel West and Mt Carmel St Ann’s.  If this technique is an option for you, your physician will discuss this process thoroughly with you during your pre-operative breast cancer consultations, and the pros and cons to this alternative to standard breast radiation.

None of the physicians at Central Ohio Surgical Associates who perform breast brachytherapy have any professional or financial relationships with the companies that manufacture these catheters.  For more information about breast brachytherapy, please visit the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) patient information website:

http://www.rtanswers.org/treatmentinformation/cancertypes/breast/accelerated.aspx

High-Risk Breast Screening

Certain woman are considered high risk for breast cancer due to their family history, and therefore meet criteria for genetic testing and/or high risk screening.  As Medical Director of the Mt Carmel Cancer Risk Program, I encourage you to investigate your own family history.  The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and updated in 2011, provides protection for this testing.  Your surgeon will evaluate your family history, and if applicable, will refer you for formal genetic testing.  If your genetic test reveals you have a mutation that makes you high risk for the development of breast or ovarian cancer, your surgeon will discuss with you your additional screening options, and arrange for your high risk screening follow up.  For more information about this collaboration with the Mt Carmel Cancer Risk Program, please visit:

http://www.mountcarmelhealth.com/programs-and-services/cancer-care/cancer-risk-program.html.

Multidisciplinary Tumor Board

For complex breast cancer cases, surgeons may present individual patient cases for review at the weekly or bi-weekly multidisciplinary tumor boards at Mt Carmel East and Mt Carmel West.  Multidisciplinary care is defined as the coordination of care across medical specialties, and can greatly improve cancer outcomes and patient satisfaction. Your surgeon will discuss your case with a team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, and oncology nurse navigators to determine the best approach to your complex care.