Success for JoAnn: A Better Biopsy Experience
JoAnn Carrier wanted to be a nurse from the time she was six years old, when she helped care for a younger sister who suffered from severe eczema. As an RN who worked in surgery, she was known for holding the hands of nervous patients, her soothing words providing comfort until the anesthesia took effect. She didn’t think much about breast cancer until shortly before retirement, when she noticed some irregularities in her left breast while performing a self-exam.
“Obviously, you know your own body,” says JoAnn.
A mammogram confirmed the presence of suspicious tissue, but to determine whether the spots were benign or malignant, a biopsy was necessary. Jean Weigert, MD, FA CR,and Janet Harris, Ultrasound Technologist, performed the procedure at the Imaging Center of West Hartford, CT, using the EnCor® Breast Biopsy System, a minimally invasive vacuum assisted breast biopsy device that delivers multiple tissue samples through a single insertion.
“The needle does most of the work,” explains Dr. Weigert, who, depending upon each patient’s unique situation, might use the EnCor® Breast Biopsy System with ultrasound, stereotactic X-ray or MRI guidance. “We program it to take the samples from the appropriate location, and then place a Gel Mark Ultra™ marker so we can return to the exact biopsy site if a future procedure is necessary.”
Fortunately for JoAnn, the tissue was benign, and the experience was a far cry from the more invasive procedures she often witnessed in the operating room. “The local anesthetic was the most uncomfortable part,” she says. Today, she is enjoying retirement, and continues to take care of her family and herself—but the market and the kitchen have replaced the operating room as her venue of choice.