Redland Hospital has made history by pioneering the use of Magseed/SentiMag technology for breast cancer patients in south-east Queensland.
The magnetic device, which is the size of a grain of rice, is helping ease the discomfort of Redlands women undergoing breast cancer surgery.
Redland Hospital successfully trialled the use of the established Magseed/SentiMag technology as a pre-surgical procedure in October 2022 and now uses the technology to locate cancer for removal and identify lymph nodes for cancer treatment.
Surgical services director Dr Prath Nakka said Magseed technology eliminated the requirement for patients to undergo a hospital visit for a hookwire insertion, reducing stress, anxiety and discomfort for patients before surgery.
“In some women who have chemotherapy before surgery, using Magseed eliminates multiple procedures prior to surgery,” she said.
“Magtrace is a magnetic dye that is injected to locate lymph nodes and can be injected while the patient is asleep or in the clinic rather than hours prior to surgery, again improving patient comfort and experience.”
Dr Nakka said the hospital was the first in south-east Queensland to use the technology, which had provided promising results throughout the trial.
A similar trial was also successfully conducted at the QEII Hospital this year.
She said the Magseed device was about 5mm in size and helped surgeons locate small cancers that were hard to feel or see, improving the accuracy and efficiency of lumpectomies and assisting in a patient’s recovery.
“Magseed can be inserted any time prior to surgery by the radiologist which means patients don’t have to wait all morning prior to a two-hour operation in the afternoon,” Dr Nakka said.
“This also allows the theatre time to be utilised more efficiently and their operation can be scheduled independent of the radiology services.”
Dr Nakka said with two breast surgeons, two breast care nurses and teams of radiologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, Redland Hospital treated and provided surgical care to 155 women last financial year.
Sandra Smith, 74, was one of the first to receive the Magseed device before breast surgery at Redland Hospital and said she was surprised by the less invasive procedure.
“The Magseed was done a week beforehand, they just gave me a needle, numbed it and there was no discomfort,” she said.
“I’d never heard about it until Dr Nakka told me and she explained how quickly it’s done and after my experience, I’d highly recommend it for anyone.”
Birkdale woman Carol Hibbet, 70, said she was impressed with the service and that receiving care close to home at Redland Hospital had been less stressful.
“Coming from South Africa, even private care is not as good as the public system here,” she said.
“They have been amazing.”
Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said the Magseed/SentiMag technology was an extraordinary piece of technology and a wonderful example of the amazing work being done every day at Redland Hospital.
“I’m so proud of clinicians like Dr Nakka who are pioneering the use of technology like Magseed which in some cases reduces the number of procedures required to treat women with breast cancer,” she said.
“A treatment that reduces the stress and anxiety of patients who have already been confronted with a breast cancer diagnosis can make a huge difference to someone’s journey.”