Why the Magseed® marker is ideal for reconstructive breast surgery – an interview in Plastic Surgery Practice

Kandace McGuire, MD, Surgical Oncology

After breast surgery, many women choose reconstruction to complete the healing process. From our experiences, there are many plastic and oncoplastically trained surgeons whose skills in restoring the aesthetic appearance of the breast, have a remarkable positive impact on the emotional and psychological wellbeing of their patients.

To mark #CancerSurvivorsDay, Kandace McGuire, MD of VCU Massey Cancer Center spoke with Plastic Surgery Practice (PSP), about the technologies that can help to support reconstructive surgeries, including her experiences with the Magseed® marker.

Working as one

Kandace told PSP how she works with plastic surgeons 30-40% of the time and makes sure they are highly involved in the patient pathway. It’s her belief that when everyone’s working towards the same thing, surgeons win their patients’ confidence.

This integrated approach has been met well, with 75% of eligible women at her clinic choosing to take up breast reconstruction.

“If the patient asks a question, it’s very disconcerting to not have everybody on their team on the same page.”

“So, it’s important for the plastic surgeon to have some familiarity with the techniques the breast surgeon is using, and vice versa.”

"It’s important for the plastic surgeon to have some familiarity with the techniques the breast surgeon is using, and vice versa.”Kandace McGuire, MD VCU Massey Cancer Center

Night and day for breast technology

In Kandace’s view, it’s essential to get to grips with breast cancer care technologies. In a few years she has seen the field change, ‘almost like night and day’.

She told PSP that choosing the right marker can preserve tissue as part of an oncoplastic approach, and that her preferred new technology is the Magseed® marker.

Magseed vs grain of rice

“The Magseed is my favourite technology overall. The convenience of the radioactive seed is wonderful, because that is the easiest thing to use. However, there’s a lot of overhead and roadblocks.

Whereas the Magseed is just a small piece of stainless steel that’s placed in the breast. It’s completely inert; it can be there forever; it’s very safe.

The experience of finding that seed is as easy as radioactive seed localization, which can’t be said for some of the other technologies.”

"The Magseed is my favourite technology overall.”Kandace McGuire, MD VCU Massey Cancer Center

Adopting the Magseed® marker was a decision Kandace came to with her plastics team. First, they tested ‘every single option available on the market.’ Then they sat down to decide what worked the best for them and their patients.

“There are excellent surgeons who use wire localization and don’t feel the need to move away. It works fine for them: they’re very happy with it and they don’t have problems.

But I think that’s short-sighted because they’re not the patient. They don’t have to get to the hospital at 6am, with a wire stuck in their breast and sit around with nothing to eat or drink for four, five, or six hours.”

Read the full Plastic Surgery Practice article here.