24 October 2023

Cutting-edge innovation transforming breast cancer surgery in Murrumbidgee

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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man presents two women with awards

Pictured at the 2023 MLHD Excellence Awards, where Magseed won the Innovation and Health Research Award, are sponsor Richard Chaney, from the Agency for Clinical Innovation, with Griffith Breast Cancer Support Group president Kaye Mossman and Dr Kate FitzGerald. Photo: Murrumbidgee Local Health District.

The expansion of Magseed technology to Wagga Wagga Base Hospital is set to benefit women in the Murrumbidgee region requiring breast cancer surgery.

Magseed, a small metal device about the size of a grain of rice, is implanted in a cancerous breast tumour to mark its location for surgery, allowing for more flexibility for surgeons when making an incision.

The first use of Magseed technology was at Wagga Base Hospital in August by surgeon Dr Kate FitzGerald.

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“Patients undergoing breast cancer surgery at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital will now have access to the Magseed technology,” said Wagga Base Hospital general manager and Murrumbidgee Local Health District executive director of medical services, Professor Lenert Bruce.

“This will enable patients to have more choice in their treatment options and put them in the driving seat of their care and we congratulate Dr Kate FitzGerald on her efforts to bring this technology to Murrumbidgee.”

Traditionally, surgeons relied on thin wires placed by radiologists on the day of surgery to guide them to the site of a cancerous breast tumour. However, the Magseed offers greater flexibility and precision when making incisions.

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After seeing them used when working overseas, Dr FitzGerald played a pivotal role in introducing Magseed at Griffith Base Hospital.

“Having used Magseed technology at Griffith since last year, I am thrilled to have now been able to use it to operate on patients in Wagga Wagga,” Dr FitzGerald said.

“This is another option for surgeons in helping to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients.”

Dr FitzGerald’s efforts to have the technology available in the Murrumbidgee were backed by the Griffith Breast Cancer Support Group, which raised $50,000 towards acquiring the necessary equipment for implementing the Magseed device.

The project was awarded the Innovation and Health Research Award at the 2023 Murrumbidgee Local Health District Excellence Awards.

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