Breast brachytherapy at Willis-Knighton is involves a special catheter called “MammoSite” or “Savi” and is performed in conjunction with breast-conserving lumpectomy. Patients who are candidates will have a lumpectomy performed by a surgeon. When the lump is removed a thin tube (catheter) is placed where the lump had been with a short piece of the catheter extending beyond the skin. The catheter is then expanded to fill the space the lump had previously occupied.
Your radiation oncologist will then use CT imaging to create a treatment plan. During therapy, the catheter is connected to a machine that houses the High Dose Rate (HDR) radiation seeds. This machine is controlled by a computer and delivers the radiation through a computer-controlled process. After each treatment, the radioactive seed is removed and the catheter is unplugged. You may return to your normal activities in between treatments. Treatments are done twice per day for 5 days. After your last treatment the catheter is removed and the incision is closed.