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Breast Tumors Removed Without Major Surgery

FDA OKs biopsy device for new use

THURSDAY, Nov. 20, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A device that makes it easier for doctors to remove smaller, noncancerous breast tumors without major surgery has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The tumors, called fibroadenomas, are common among women in their late teens through their 30s. The typically solid, benign tumors have the feel of a marble inside a woman's breast, according to Ethicon Endo-Surgery, producer of the device called the Mammotome system.

The system, originally approved in 1995 to help doctors perform breast biopsies, involves insertion of a probe into a quarter-inch-long incision. Guided by ultrasound, the doctor uses the device to remove tissue in a procedure that typically lasts less than an hour, the company says. As compared to conventional biopsy/tumor removal surgery, no stitches are normally required, there is less scarring and recovery is much faster, Ethicon adds.

Fibroadenomas occur in about 10 percent of all women and account for about half of the 1.6 million breast biopsies performed each year in the United States, according to a company news release.

Visit this company site for more about the Mammotome system. To learn more about fibroadenomas, go to the National Library of Medicine.

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