Intra-Operative Breast Radiation

What is intraoperative breast radiation therapy?

A high dose of radiation is delivered to the site of a breast tumour during surgery as opposed to over the course of weeks, as is typical with external beam radiation therapy. This procedure is known as intraoperative breast radiation therapy (IORT). By reducing the chance of breast cancer returning after surgery, IORT may also protect healthy tissue from radiation exposure. It is often applied during surgery using a specialised device or applicator placed directly on the tumour site in cases of early-stage breast cancer. It is crucial to examine your options with Dr Motilall because research on the advantages and hazards of IORT is ongoing, and it may not be suitable for all individuals.

Who needs intraoperative breast radiation therapy?

Patients with early-stage breast cancer and a tiny, well-defined tumour that may be removed entirely during surgery often receive the recommendation for intraoperative breast radiation therapy (IORT). When deciding if IORT is necessary, additional elements like the patient's general health and the size and location of the malignancy are also considered. Not all patients are candidates for IORT, particularly those with larger tumours, numerous tumours, or cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes. Additionally, it is not ideal for patients who cannot tolerate a large dose of radiation in a single session due to specific medical issues. Before determining if IORT is the best option for you, it is crucial to discuss your options with your healthcare professional and weigh the pros and drawbacks of the procedure. Your healthcare professional can assist you in making an appropriate decision for your circumstances.

How is intraoperative breast radiation therapy performed?

Intraoperative breast radiation therapy (IORT) is typically performed during surgery to remove the breast cancer tumour. The following steps are involved in the procedure:

  • List ImageAnaesthesia
    General anaesthesia is administered to guarantee that the patient is asleep and comfortable throughout the procedure.
  • List ImageSurgery
    The surgeon removes the breast cancer tumour and surrounding tissue.
  • List ImageDelivery of IORT
    A strong dosage of radiation is applied directly to the tumour using a specialised device or applicator. Typically, this takes 20 to 30 minutes.
  • List ImageClosure of incision
    After the surgeon closes the incision, the patient is brought to the recovery room.
  • List ImageFollow-up care
    Depending on the details of the patient's situation, the patient could follow up on the IORT surgery with other therapies, such as external beam radiation therapy.

It is crucial to remember that IORT is still a developing discipline, and various healthcare providers may utilise different procedures and strategies. More details on the treatment and what to anticipate are available from Dr Motilall.