Radioactive Seed Localized Breast Surgery - Touro Infirmary
Cancer Care

Radioactive Seed Localized Breast Surgery

A new approach to remove breast cancer

Touro is proud to be the first hospital in New Orleans and the Gulf South to offer radioactive seed localized breast surgery. Breast imaging technology has evolved to allow many breast abnormalities and cancers to be detected before they can be felt with a physical exam. While this refinement allows doctors to identify problems earlier than ever, it also creates a challenge to precisely locate the affected tissue.

Touro Infirmary is the first hospital in the Gulf South region to offer radioactive seed localization (RSL) breast surgery.

The program allows a radiologist and surgeon to accurately target lesions in the breast. John Colfry, MD, breast surgical oncologist, and Daniel Rupley, MD, radiologist, completed training at MD Anderson Cancer Center and are excited to bring RSL to patients in Louisiana.

About radiactive seed localization

RSL offers many benefits to patients compared with surgery that uses wires to locate the tumor. Like in a needle biopsy, the radiologist performing RSL will inject anesthetic to numb the area before starting the procedure. Next, the radiologist will place a very-low-energy radioactive seed in the abnormal breast tissue via ultrasound or mammographic guidance.

The seed can be positioned one to five days before surgery. During the surgery, the surgeon uses a handheld gamma probe to more precisely identify and remove the tumor by obtaining a 3D view of the tumor’s location. This also allows for an accurate plan to make the surgical incision.

What is the seed?

Each seed is only 5 millimeters long, about the size of a grain of rice. The seed acts as a marker for the surgeon because the iodine inside the seed can be detected by the gamma meter being used during the lumpectomy and can be seen on ultrasound.Radioactive Seed for breast cancer surgery

Each seed is only 5 mm. long, about the size of a grain of rice.

The seed does not present an exposure risk to caregivers, family members or others who come in contact with the patient. No isolation measures are needed. With this procedure, once the seed is removed with the breast tissue, all radioactive material is gone.

Improving Patient Care

Compared with wire localization, RSL is a more positive experience for patients because it:

  • Removes less tissue
  • Disturbs less healthy tissue
  • Provides more comfort
  • Decreases time of operation
  • Leaves the breast with a more natural look

To learn more, contact the Touro Women’s Imaging Center at 504.897.8600.

Radioactive seed localization in the news

WWL-TV Interview: Friday, Nov. 25, 2016 – Dr. Colfry on Breast Cancer Treatment

Click for Dr. Colfry video.
>> CLICK HERE for the video.

Fox-8 Interview: Monday, Oct. 17, 2016 – Dr. Colfry on Breast Cancer Treatment

Dr. Colfry
>> CLICK HERE for the video.

New Orleans Magazine – interview with Dr. John Colfry

Dr. Colfry in office
photo by Cheryl Gerber

Click here to read more.

Biz Minute: Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016

Touro debuts a new breast cancer therapy called Radioactive Seed Localization in this Biz New Orleans Daily Biz Minute.

Click here to view the video.