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Case study: breast cryoablation – maintaining cosmetic appearances

Case studies

The challenge: To maintain breast volume and avoid deformity when treating a patient with small breasts and a tumor that is close to the pectoralis muscle and skin using cryoablation.

Patient Background: 48-year-old, Asian female with cancer in the right breast. Papillotubular carcinoma, grade I (cT1N0M0 Stage I), Sentinel node biopsy: Negative (0/2) ER+(>95%), PR+(>95%), HER2 score 1+ (negative). Patient has a relatively small breast, but prefers cryoablation to lumpectomy or other surgical procedures in order to maintain the cosmetic appearance of her breast.

Treatment: the cryoablation procedure was performed under local anesthesia with ultrasound guidance in June 2012. The procedure targeted a 9mm lesion in the right breast, eleven o’clock, close to the chest wall.

The cryoablation treatment cycle was 9-minute freeze, 8-minute-thaw, 9-minute freeze. A saline injection and cryoprobe lift technique were used during the freeze steps in order to create enough space between the chest wall and the ice ball.

Outcome: A vacuum assisted biopsy performed 5 weeks post cryoablation revealed no viable cancer cells. Four years after the cryoablation procedure, the patient has not exhibited any recurrence of breast cancer. There were no complications or adverse events from the cryoablation procedure and the patient had good cosmetic results.

A special thanks to Professor Eisuke Fukuma, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Breast Center, Kameda Medical Center, Japan.