Small Device, Magseed, Makes Breast Surgery More Comfortable

Breast cancer patients in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan now have a new option for marking tumors before breast surgery. Magseed, offered at the ProMedica Breast Center, provides a simpler, more effective alternative to the traditional wire localization methods that have been used for more than 30 years.

Breast cancer screening mammography and better therapies have decreased the mortality from the disease by over 30%. Nonetheless, breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths among women.

Until now, most women having surgery to remove a breast tumor (lumpectomy) had to undergo a “wire localization” procedure where a wire is inserted into the tumor and served as a road map for the breast surgeon to remove the diseased tissue.

Although widely used, wire localizations have known complications for women:

  • The guide wire must be inserted the same day prior to surgery which causes discomfort and worsens pre-surgical anxiety. The wire may be in place for hours if surgery is unexpectedly delayed. Occasionally, difficulty in wire placement may result in long delays for surgery start times.
  • Because the guide wire protrudes from the skin, there is an increased risk for infection.
  • Wires can also move or be dislodged

According to Robin Shermis, MD, MPH, FACR, Medical Director of ProMedica Breast Care, Magseed addresses these complications.

“First, it is smaller than a grain of rice and can be placed into a tumor up to 30 days before the patient’s surgery,” explains Dr. Shermis. It’s relatively quick and easy, he says. “Once the seed is implanted, it produces no discomfort, rarely moves and stays within the breast. During surgery, a magnetic probe called a Sentimag detects the Magseed, guiding the surgeon to the tumor.”

Dr. Shermis says that this method provides more accurate removal of cancerous tissue, ensuring that more healthy tissue can remain. This typically leads to a better cosmetic result.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Magseed in 2016. In January 2017, The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) became the first U.S. site to adopt Magseed as its standard of care. In August, ProMedica Toledo Hospital adopted Magseed as its standard of care becoming the first hospital in the area to use the new technology – thanks in part to ProMedica Toledo Hospital Foundation, which purchased the probe for ProMedica Breast Care.

Learn more about ProMedica Breast Care.