A cutting-edge procedure called seed localization is improving patient satisfaction at The Dubin Breast Center of the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai. In patients undergoing lumpectomy, a tiny radioactive seed is guided into the breast and implanted at the site of the tumor. The seed allows surgeons to better target and remove small breast cancer tumors. This procedure is only available at a few centers in the country since its implementation involves significant coordination between a specialized team of breast surgeons and operating room (OR) personnel, radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians and pathologists.
Prior to the development and implementation of seed localization, targeting small tumors could only be done with a procedure called needle localization. In this pre-surgical procedure a wire is guided to the site of the tumor using advanced imaging technology. Because the wire protrudes from the skin, this procedure was always performed on the day of surgery and remained in place until removed at surgery.
"Thankfully, with mammography and our advanced imaging techniques, we are detecting tumors that are smaller and earlier than ever before," said Elisa Port, MD, FACS, Chief of Breast Surgery and Co-Director of the Dubin Breast Center. "Seed localization is another, more patient-friendly tool to specifically target the cancer and minimize the amount of time a patient spends in the hospital and in preparation on the day of surgery."
About the Breast Seed Localization Procedure
With seed localization, the seed is implanted in the days leading up to surgery, so that the patient does not have to arrive at the hospital hours before surgery, as they do with needle localization. Using local anesthesia in an exam room, the seed is guided into position using a pre-loaded needle and then implanted at the site of the tumor. When the patient returns between one and five days later to have the tumor removed, the surgical team uses a GPS navigator that detects radioactivity to locate the seed and remove the tumor. No radioactivity remains within the breast once the tumor and seed are removed.
"With 3D mammography and now with seed localization, the Dubin Breast Center is continuously working to ensure our patients have access to the best technology in breast cancer detection and treatment," said Laurie Margolies, MD, FACR, Chief of Breast Imaging. "Seed localization allows our surgeons to precisely remove cancerous tissue, reduces the volume of tissue required for removal, and greatly improves patients’ experience."
Dubin Breast Center
The Mount Sinai Hospital
1176 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10029
For Appointments and Information
Tel: 855-TO-DUBIN (863-8246) or
Tel: 212-241-3300 option 1
Breast Reconstruction (plastic surgery)
Tel: 212-241-3300 option 3
Tel: 212-241-3300 option 2
Breast Health Resource Program (psychosocial support)
Our advanced services include seed localization, a technique used to better target and remove small tumors.