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Modern Breast Diagnostic Services

Needle Localization

Needle localization is performed when a lump is visible on a mammography or on an ultrasound but cannot be felt during a medical exam. A needle is used to mark the area the surgeon must remove. Usually a radiologist performs the procedure with the use of x-rays, but Dr. Benowitz does an ultrasound localization. The procedure is relatively painless.

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Excisional Breast Biopsy

An excisional biopsy is another type of open biopsy where the entire lump is removed rather than only a part of it. Excisional biopsies are usually performed when the lump is small.  The entire procedure takes about an hour.

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Sentinel Node Biopsy

The sentinel lymph node under the arm is the first node that drains fluid from the breasts. Because of its position, many doctors believe that:

  • If cancer spreads beyond the breast, the sentinel node is the first place those malignant cells would appear; and
  • If there are no cancerous cells in the sentinel node, the cancer has likely not spread beyond the breast.

Biopsy of the sentinel lymph node to look for cancerous cells can be done under local anesthesia at the same time as a breast biopsy or lumpectomy. First, Dr. Benowitz injects a dye and radioactive tracer into the breast tumor. He then tracks the dye as it travels to the sentinel node. Once located, the node can be removed through a small incision and examined.

If results come back positive, biopsy of the next lymph nodes in line—the axiliary nodes, also under the arms—may be recommended. If results are negative, no further action is necessary.

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Halo® Breast Pap Test

The HALO® breast pap test is a breast cancer risk assessment exam that identifies any abnormal cells within the breast before they turn into a cancerous lesion, which allows for early intervention and the greatest chance of successful treatment. This test can be performed on women as young as 25, and is recommended once a year in addition to regular mammogram testing.

During the HALO® procedure, the device creates a suction sensation on both breasts, similar to using a breast pump, combined with feelings of warmth and massaging to produce nipple aspirate fluid (NAF), a substance found in the milk ducts. The produced fluid will then be sent to a lab to be analyzed for any abnormalities. If no fluid is produced, which occurs in nearly half of all women, the patient is considered to be at normal risk for breast cancer. The entire exam takes less than five minutes to perform with no side effects and no downtime. While you may experience mild discomfort during this exam, most women find it to be tolerable. The HALO breast pap test is approved by the FDA and is considered a safe exam for most women, although those with breast implants or who are breastfeeding should talk to their doctor first.

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BRCA I & II Testing

While the specific cause of breast cancer is often unknown, a certain number of women may be genetically predisposed to developing this disease. Women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation carry an inherited risk of developing breast cancer, and likely occur in women with:

  • A family history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • Early diagnosis of breast cancer (before age 45)
  • Another family member with BRCA gene mutation

Women who carry the BRCA gene may have up to an 85 percent chance of developing breast cancer at some point in their lives. The BRCA genetic test involves a simple blood or sputum test that is performed in Dr. Benowitz's office. The specimen is sent to a lab for DNA analysis. It may take three to four weeks for results to be available.

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2nd Opinion Consultations

As a specialized breast surgeon, Dr. Benowitz sees many patients seeking a second opinion before undergoing surgery for breast surgery. For the most effective results, it is essential that patients receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan from an experienced breast surgeon for the first round of treatment. Many patients who request a second opinion from Dr. Benowitz receive a thorough evaluation with diagnosis and treatment plan. When you schedule your 2nd opinion consultation with Dr. Benowitz, please bring all records and test results with you from your first diagnosis.

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Dedicated Digital Ultrasound

A digital breast ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the breast tissue and examine it for solid masses and other abnormalities. This procedure is often performed after early signs of cancer appear during a mammogram or breast self-exam. Ultrasounds are not typically used as a regular screening exam, as they are not effective in detecting all of the early signs of breast cancer. However, digital ultrasounds have improved the convenience and efficiency of ultrasound imaging by producing higher quality, instant images that can be viewed or transferred onto any computer.

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  • Surgical Consultations
  • Breast Sonography
  • Mammographic Evaluation
  • Image-Guided Breast Biopsy
  • Breast Conservation Surgery
  • Oncoplastic Surgery
  • Mastectomy
  • Reconstruction