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When you’re diagnosed with a breast tissue abnormality and your doctor recommends a further procedure, it’s natural to have questions. Getting answers can help you weigh your choices and determine your next move.

Post-diagnosis procedures

A biopsy or open surgical procedure may be recommended by your doctor. A breast biopsy/excision is the removal of tissue from a suspicious area of your breast. The tissue is removed by a surgeon or radiologist and sent to a laboratory for analysis by a pathologist. An open surgical procedure can be a much more invasive way of obtaining the tissue sample as well.

The good news is that up to 90% of these procedures results are benign—meaning no cancer is detected. However, despite this encouraging percentage, it’s important that you consult with your doctor to obtain an accurate diagnosis and eliminate any uncertainty.

How does Intact differ from traditional procedures?

Intact is the only device that allows for the complete removal of an imaged abnormality in a minimally invasive procedure—providing your doctor and pathologist with a surgical-quality sample without the surgery. The result is a single intact specimen for histological examination—rather than multiple strips or cores—so a pathologist can accurately assess the margins.

What happens during an Intact procedure?

To start, you’ll be positioned for either ultrasound or stereotactic image guidance to visualize the suspicious area in the breast. The most time-consuming part of the procedure is the preparation—getting you comfortable and numbing the breast with lidocaine, a local anesthetic. A small, 6mm-8mm incision is made to allow the Intact wand to gently glide through breast tissue to the area your doctor wants to investigate.

Once confirmed, the suspicious area is surrounded by the Intact basket during a single 10-second capture and removed in one piece. This tissue is then sent to a laboratory for a diagnosis. The full Intact process is completed in less than one hour and can be performed entirely in your doctor’s office or procedure room.

The Intact process at a glance

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The target lesion area is prepared for the Intact procedure.

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With a small (6mm-8mm) incision, an Intact wand can easily access the target lesion under image guidance.

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Intact envelops the target tissue—and capture takes less than 10 seconds.

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The single intact sample is withdrawn.

What happens after an Intact procedure?

Before leaving your doctor’s office, you’ll be given post-procedure care instructions that should be carefully followed. Once home, you may experience slight swelling, bruising, or a discharge—all of which are normal. Any discomfort should disappear in one or two days. You should call your doctor if pain persists—or if you experience a fever, significant bleeding, or redness around the incision area. In a few days, the pathologist will send your results to your doctor, who will contact you to schedule a time to discuss the results.

The Patient Experience

  • “When I arrived, I was told exactly what would be done and what to expect. My doctor injected an anesthetic and I waited a few minutes for it to take effect. Although I was told I may experience some slight pinching, I felt nothing. The entire procedure was a lot faster than I expected. On the way home, I didn't experience any pain, only a little discomfort when I raised my arm. By the next day, I felt fine and couldn’t tell if any procedure had been performed.”

    Sara H.

    Plano, Texas

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