Health Watch: Magseed technology helping St. Louis breast cancer patients

While some breast tumors are easy to feel, up to 50 percent are too small to feel by hand. To remove the cancer as accurately as possible, localizing it in the breast is very important. In the past, that required a complex, uncomfortable wire localization procedure.

SLUCare breast surgeon Dr. Kaitlin Farrell says, "Traditionally, we would have the patient come on the day of surgery. The radiologist would place a wire that actually is sticking outside of the breast, and was somewhat uncomfortable for the patient."

Now, there’s a new magnetic surgical technology called Magseed.   SLUCare's specialized breast surgeons at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital have been using Magseed to detect and remove tumors too small to feel. They’re among the first in the region to use this technology to streamline breast cancer treatments for patients.

"The Magseed itself gives a signal that allows us to see how close we are to the cancer. The biggest thing that we worry about is when taking out these breast cancers is having to do additional surgery if we don't get everything out the first time, and this has really helped us with that."

The FDA approved Magseed in 2016 which is a small, radiation-free seed that makes for a better patient experience.  During the lumpectomy, a magnetic probe called a Sentimag sends audiovisual cues to the surgeon to detect the Magseed marker and remove the tumor.  The Magseed method provides more accurate removal of cancerous tissue, ensuring that healthier tissue can remain.  This typically leads to better cosmetic results as well.

Magseed is quickly becoming the preferred standard of care for breast lumpectomies.

Dr. Farrell says, "overall, the patients seem to like it."

To find out more about Magseed and SLUCare breast surgeons, click here.

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