Margin Probe: A Surgeon’s Aid In Breast Cancer Surgery

Whether a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, surgery is a common treatment offered to women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Prior to the surgery, doctors use a sonommamogram, mammogram and other diagnostic tests to pinpoint the exact location of the tumor. However, surgeons still cannot see all the tissue affected by the disease as some may not be visible to the naked eye. Tumors, especially those that are caught early and therefore are smaller in size, may not be detected even with modern equipment. This makes breast surgery not 100% effective in preventing metastasis or re-occurrence.

The arrival of a new device that can tell surgeons if all the cancerous cells have been removed during the surgery sparked excitement both for doctors and survivors. The technology, developed by Dune Medical Devices, is called Margin Probe. It uses a sterile probe that emits small amounts of radiofrequency signals into the tissues and reflects the signal back into a console for analysis. The console then compares the readings to a number of tissue specimens encoded into the program and immediately relays the result – either positive or negative – to the surgeon.

In addition, Margin Probe penetrates six tissue surfaces and tells the team exactly whether or not there are positive margins are so that a decision can be made whether or not additional tissue removal is warranted.

Margin Probe has been used in a study involving 664 patients and was found three times more effective in detecting tissue involvement compared to any other diagnostic techniques.

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Margin probe can certainly mean peace of mind for both the doctors and the patient. Imagine being able to sleep at night knowing that every trace of cancer has been removed from the breast! Amazing!

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