Benefits and risks of Stereotactic Breast Biopsy


Emobileclinic Researchers Corner 



Cancer is a severe health condition with high fatality rate across the world. Early detection remains the most appropriate management option. One of the leading common cancers is breast cancer. There are several measures to diagnose breast cancer, they include self examination, breast examination clinically, mammograms, ultrasound, MRI and biopsy.

Biopsy is needed in case of presence of lump in the breast or there is a significant change in the breast tissue. Biopsy is a process of removing breast lump for laboratory examination. Stereotactic breast biopsy is a form of biopsy used in diagnosing breast cancer.
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
Stereotactic breast biopsy is a specialized form of biopsy involving the use of high-tech mammography machines to detect suspicious cancer location by a radiologist. It is an highly effective diagnostic procedure.The process usually takes X-rays shot from two different angles.
This form of biopsy is required in any of the following circumstances:
Disparity in the structure of the breasts
Abnormality in breast tissues
Unexplained lump
Presence of abnormal mass
Presence of low cancerous calcium
Significant changes in the surgical place

Less painful
Less invasive
Faster and easier means of breast lump removal
Scar episode is minimal
Highly effective in detecting substance that ordinary ultrasound cannot reveal
Faster recovery period
Cost effective
Minimal possible side effects



It is instructive to know that all surgical procedures come with one form of complication or the other; it is the level of severity that differentiates or confers advantages on one than the other.
Given this background, here are some of the possible risks associated with this procedure:
Pregnant woman may not be able to use this procedure because of the adverse effects of radiation on the fetus which could cause fetal death.
The risk of having blood deposited in the area of the surgery is not uncommon. Severe pain and discomfort may happen in very rare case.
Injury to the chest wall though it is very uncommon. Researchers found no major risk in discharging Appendicitis patients home the same day of their operations

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The American College of Surgeon Journal has published an online version of the findings of researchers who discovered that the risk of postoperative complications is lower in patients who undergone laparoscopic appendectomy and were discharged same day compare to those who passed the night in the hospital. The journal is yet to be printed for public consumption. The prevalence of acute appendicitis in the United States is high as over 250,000 appendectomies are done in the United States. Interestingly, more of these patients are discharged home from the recovery room, preventing hospital admission.

Dr Armen Aboulian, a principal author of the study notes that “advances in early recognition and treatment of the disease process and minimally invasive techniques have allowed for some of the inflammatory response and the trauma from surgical treatment to be lessened and recovery to be faster; as a result, patients can get back to their lives much sooner” and added that “now up to 60 percent of non-perforated acute appendicitis patients at Kaiser Permanente are treated without an overnight stay”. After the procedure, the decision to either discharges the patient or admits the patient is solely made by the medical doctor. The concern has remained as to whether patients with a same-day discharge are more likely to return with complications and be readmitted.

It was against this background that the researchers conducted a detailed evaluation of the medical records of 12,703 patients who had laparoscopic appendectomy for non-perforated appendicitis at 14 Southern California Region Kaiser Permanente medical centers from 2010 to 2014. The participants comprised of 6,710 patients who were discharged on the same day of their procedure and 5,993 patients who were hospitalized overnight. The Procedural and Anesthesia Scoring System is used for all patients who are discharged home from the recovery room after any operation in all Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers. The basis for discharge is for the patients to have a score above 12; those with a score of 12 or less remain in the hospital at the same level of care.

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The team compared the patients discharged on the day of an operation with those hospitalized overnight. The result showed that the group discharged on the same day of an operation had almost the same return rates to emergency rooms or urgent care centers and an overall lower rate of readmission within 30 days when compared with those who were hospitalized overnight. For the two groups, postoperative rates of returns to the emergency room or radiology department for diagnostic or therapeutic imaging studies were statistically the same. Postoperative general surgery department visits recorded slightly higher in the hospitalized group. Dr Aboulian further remarked that “in general, recovery at home is preferred by most patients and sleeping in your own bed has benefits that are difficult to measure,” and “at the same time, the goal of the study is not to rush the patients home, but rather, the importance of this study lies in the confirmation that discharge from the recovery room is safe and surgeons across the nation may consider it directly from the recovery room in the appropriate setting.”

More importantly, the study revealed that same day discharge results in an average direct cost savings of $348 per case within the Kaiser Permanente system. It also suggested that when patients are sent home from the recovery room without an overnight stay, they would be saving $921,500,000 annually on health care in the United States. Dr Aboulian also said that “this study is significant because it demonstrates that patients may be treated safely with surgery and discharged on the same day as the operation”. He recalled that “two hundred years ago, the diagnosis of appendicitis had more than a 60 percent mortality rate. Now these patients are treated and don’t even have to spend the night in the hospital. Medical treatment for this disorder has come a long way.”

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Armen Aboulian (2016): Same-Day Discharge in Laparoscopic Acute Non-Perforated Appendectomy. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2016.10.026

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