According to the American Cancer Society, more than 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will affect women in the United States in 2013. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Thanks to increased public awareness, earlier detection through screening, and advances in treatment technology, breast cancer mortality rates have been declining since 1989.
These days, recovery from breast cancer is about more than just surgical removal and medical treatment of the disease. Peter Blumencranz, MD is a surgical oncologist and the medical director of the Comprehensive Breast Program and Cancer Services for Morton Plant Mease Health Care who treats breast cancer patients and has witnessed this shift firsthand.
“As we continue to develop better medical technology, patients today want to be more than just cancer-free,” said Dr. Blumencranz “They want to return to their daily routine as quickly as possible, and they want to feel comfortable and confident with their physical appearance, especially after a challenging surgery like mastectomy.”
A new surgical device called the PEAK PlasmaBlade is providing important benefits for patients, including reduced tissue damage and improved incision healing compared to traditional electrosurgical devices.
The PEAK PlasmaBlade, developed by the Advanced Energy division of Medtronic, is a handheld surgical device powered by a generator and used by doctors for soft tissue dissection and bleeding control during surgery. Although it has the precision of a scalpel, the PEAK PlasmaBlade uses radiofrequency (RF) energy delivered across a very small surface area, giving surgeons the ability to control bleeding while cutting.
“With this device, I get the cutting precision that I need from a scalpel and the hemostatic properties of traditional electrosurgery combined in one instrument,” said Dr. Blumencranz. “That means I don’t need to switch back and forth between devices during surgery, which cuts down on operative time and can mean that a patient may have to spend less time in surgery.”
For breast cancer patients being treated with surgery, mammoplasty and/or breast reconstruction, the PEAK PlasmaBlade can offer improved surgical incision healing with reduced scarring and inflammation.
Medtronic demonstrated its commitment to helping breast cancer patients during the month of October by donating to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade and branding the handle of the PEAK PlasmaBlade 3.0S device pink to increase awareness and support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The PEAK PlasmaBlade is a general indication surgical dissection device used in a variety of procedures, including plastic and reconstructive surgery, orthopaedics, and pacemaker generator and lead implants and revisions.
Dr. Blumencranz is an internationally recognized breast cancer specialist. He is a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, American Society of Breast Diseases, American Society of Clinical Oncology and a field liaison physician for the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. He serves as a Member of the State of Florida Cancer Council. In addition to his role as medical director of Comprehensive Breast Program and Cancer Services for Morton Plant Mease Health Care, he is actively involved in research trials and new technologies in the treatment of breast cancer. In 2007 and 2008, Dr. Blumencranz has been honored as a recipient of the Commission on Cancer’s Cancer Liaison Physician Outstanding Performance award.