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New technology benefits breast cancer patients

Posted at 10:53 AM, Jul 24, 2019

Breast cancer patients in Wisconsin can benefit from new technology that makes surgery less painful and the outcome more precise.

Lorena Drahonovsky went in for a routine mammogram earlier this year.

"I got the, I think within the next day, I got the Houston we have a problem call," said Drahonovsky.

Doctors found a tumor. They scheduled surgery to check if it was cancerous. Normally doctors mark the tumor using a wire.

"I've heard that the wire is not that pleasant," said Drahonovsky.

That's why Lorena was happy to learn her doctors at Ascension had another way.

"The magnetic seed is probably the largest advance in breast imaging localization since the 1980s," said Dr. Eric Blaschke.

Blaschke, a radiologist, spent years working to get Magseed. It's the smallest non-radioactive seed available.

"When a surgeon is removing a breast cancer, they can't actually tell where it is during the operation. The magnetic seed they can actually detect outside the breast with the probe and know exactly how deep the breast cancer is, where it is in the breast before they even make the first cut," said Blaschke.

Dr. Hanadi Buali said the technology has several benefits. The wire goes in the day of surgery, but the seed can be put in well ahead of time.

"Shorter time for procedure, number one. B disturb less of breast tissue when you do it because you're not following a wire as you try to get to the lesion. ... You tend to be more precise and remove less breast tissue than with wires," said Buali.

"The magnetic seed is probably the largest advance in breast imaging localization since the 1980s." — Dr. Eric Blaschke

The breast surgical oncologist said overall it's a better experience for her patients.

"It takes some of the anxiousness out of the whole thing, which was nice," said Drahonovsky.

Drahonovsky is cancer free.

Magseed is covered by insurance the same way the traditional wire procedure is.

Ascension Wisconsin Hospitals said they're first in the state to offer Magseed. Participating facilities in southeast Wisconsin include Ascension Franklin, Ascension Elmbrook, Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee, Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee, Ascension All Saints Hospital and Ascension SE Wisconsin at Mayfair Road Outpatient Center.