Toni Storm-Dickerson, M.D., Surgical Medical Director, PeaceHealth Southwest Kearney Breast Center and Co-Director Compass Breast Specialists, Vancouver, WA.
In most lumpectomy cases, the tumor is successfully removed with clear margins (no cancer detected around the edges of the specimen). However, about 25% of breast conserving procedures have positive margins, or in the case of DCIS, near margins, and a re-excision of the tumor bed is required. It was during one such recent re-excision that Dr. Toni Storm-Dickerson experienced the unexpected benefits of the VeraForm® tissue marker. Typically, Dr. Storm-Dickerson utilizes VeraForm during lumpectomy procedures as a means to help radiation oncologists better locate and treat the patient’s tumor bed. “VeraForm is easy to place and allows for seamless oncoplastic closure,” stated Dr. Storm-Dickerson. “In a recent partial mastectomy case, the patient was found to have multifocal DCIS in addition to the known IDC, and subsequently, the need for re-excision of the superior margin. As this patient had undergone significant tissue rearrangement with oncoplastic closure, simply following the scar would not have localized the original tumor bed well, resulting in unnecessarily extensive re-excision of healthy tissue to assure the superior margin was appropriately sampled.”
“Since VeraForm was placed at the time of the original resection, I was easily able to identify the marked tumor bed with great confidence and selectively excise the area of concern, said Dr. Storm-Dickerson. “VeraForm has allowed me to mark the tumor bed in an extremely accurate manner for radiation oncologist to deliver adjuvant radiation. VeraForm further enables breast surgeons and radiologists to identify the exact lumpectomy site on future imaging and to precisely perform re-excision in the setting of level I and especially level II oncoplastics.”