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Magseed reduces risk, improves outcomes for breast biopsy patient

Magseed technology offers better detection and improves the patient experience, and is an expansion to the NUMC Breast Center.

The expanded Breast Center offerings at New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC), part of Allina Health, implemented yet another piece of advanced technology for the benefit of their patients with the introduction of Magseed technology.

In the last few years, the Breast Center at NUMC has introduced 3D Mammography, breast MRI, and stereotactic biopsies, all aimed at improving the patient experience as well as better detection and treatment options for women across the region.

The Mammotone Sentimag Magnetic Lesion Localization (or Magseed) procedure is used when breast imaging has indicated a lesion that needs to be biopsied (removed) from a woman’s breast. For years, the procedure for this has been to place a guidewire into the patient’s breast that essentially hooks the mass or lesion and protrudes out of the breast. The surgeon is then able to follow the wire to find the exact tissue that should be removed. The wire must be placed the day of surgery, whereas the Magseed can be placed up to 30 days in advance of surgery.

“Magseed is used just for the breast and only for any tissue that cannot be physically felt (non-palpable),” said Corinne Jordan, MD, general surgeon at NUMC. Seed localization has been utilized across the world for several years, she explained, however it was very limited because the seeds used were radioactive.

“Magseed is magnetic and the risks to the patient are much lower,” Jordan said. Many facilities that have been using radioactive seed localization are now transitioning to the Magseed technology. NUMC was one of three Allina Health sites to pilot the Magseed technology and have had very positive outcomes with their patients.

The benefits to patients are two-fold, explained Radiologist Nate Groebner, MD, the lead radiologist at NUMC.

“It allows patients more flexibility in scheduling their surgery since we won’t have to coordinate the schedules of the radiology and surgery departments on the day of surgery,” Groebner said. “And it allows their surgeon to potentially perform a more directed and customizable surgery.”

Using Magseed allows for a more cosmetic approach, also, Jordan said, as the surgeon does not need to remove as much tissue as they would when using a guidewire.

The implementation of Magseed technology at NUMC was supported by the NUMC Foundation, with a $19,800 donation over three years. This will cover the annual service contract fee for the equipment.

With the trial period for Magseed at NUMC completed, this technology will now be routinely used for patients where it is applicable, Groebner said.

Most often, lesions that need to be more closely examined are identified through a mammogram.

“Routine screening mammograms are incredibly important,” Jordan said. “During the pandemic, we have seen women delaying their mammograms, but I would encourage all women to maintain those screening schedules. Early detection saves lives and it’s important to continue to be screened as normal.”

For more information about the breast health services at NUMC, go to allinahealth.org/numc and click on the Services tab. For a mammography appointment, call 507-217-5011.

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