Live Tweeting a Surgery

What if you had early stage breast cancer, and you could have your lumpectomy surgery and full course of radiation treatment all at the same time?

Thanks to a new procedure called Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), breast cancer patients who meet the medical qualifications can possibly be done with their entire cancer treatment in less than two hours.

At Rose, we are very excited to offer this cutting-edge treatment, and we wanted to do something a little different to educate the public about the procedure, which is why we decided to live-tweet from one of Dr. Barbara Schwartzberg’s IORT procedures.

On Wednesday, Nov. 30, we used the Twitter hashtag #RoseIORT to send updates from the operating room as well as answer questions and offer information about the procedure.

Below is the Twitter transcript, for those who were unable to watch the live feed. To learn more about IORT, click here.

11:19

We will start tweeting in less than an hour! Submit your questions here.

11:30

PGangolly: Why did you decide to tweet from the OR?

11:38

@PGangolly It’s a great way to inform & educate the public about new procedures & technologies that they might not know about. #RoseIORT

12:27

They are getting the room prepped for the surgery and procedure. We should be starting soon. #RoseIORT

12:39

IORT stands for intraoperative radiation therapy. We are now using it to help treat early stage breast cancer. #RoseIORT

12:49

The patient has early stage breast cancer. She’s excited to be in the new trial & get her surgery/radiation treatment at once #RoseIORT

12:53

Limabo88: @RoseMedical What kind of doctor performs this type of surgery? #RoseIORT

12:55

@Limabo88 Our general surgeons, who specialize in breast cancer, perform the lumpectomy & place the balloon for the IORT treatment #RoseIORT

12:57

@limabo88 Then the radiation oncologist connects the radiation technology and administers the radiation treatment. #RoseIORT

12:58

Patient is in her 60s. She has a small 8 mm (3/8 in) cancer in her right breast. #RoseIORT

12:59

Patient has very early breast cancer. She’s a perfect candidate 4 breast conservation (lumpectomy) & radiation as one procedure #RoseIORT

1:03

Dr. Schwartzberg is going through usual preoperative checklists, which is a part of our routine quality assurance. #RoseIORT

1:05

The patient has met w/surgeon and radiologist to make sure she is an appropriate candidate. #RoseIORT

1:06

The procedure is done under general anesthesia. It takes about an hour and a half and is an outpatient procedure. #RoseIORT

1:07

Dr. S is using the sentinel lymph node technique, which allows her to selectively identify lymph nodes that need to be checked. #RoseIORT

1:10

They’re done checking the nodes, & will wait to hear what the pathologists say. #RoseIORT

1:10

In the meantime, they will start the lumpectomy and removal of the tumor. #RoseIORT

1:11

Dr. S made about a 1 ½ inch incision to start the lumpectomy. Doing the IORT makes their entry approach a little different. #RoseIORT

1:12

Dr. S looks at the patient’s mammograms to see exactly where the cancer is and where she needs to operate. #RoseIORT

1:15

Fantastic. Dr. Schwartzberg says they were able to successfully remove the cancer. #RoseIORT

1:16

They’re applying some local anesthesia to the area to make the patient more comfortable (she is already under general anesthesia) #RoseIORT

1:18

Dr. S is taking an x-ray of the breast tissue to make sure that they have identified all of the cancer. #RoseIORT

1:18

The cancer they removed is about the size of a quarter #RoseIORT

1:20

Dr. Schwartzberg performing the lumpectomy. #RoseIORT

1:23

@PGangolly To get the word out about today, we used our social media pages, as well as those of our community partners. We’ll also make transcripts available afterwards.

1:24

Dr. Schwartzberg wants to remind women to get their yearly mammograms. Early detection is key! #RoseIORT

1:26

Nodes look to be cancer free. #RoseIORT

1:26

Now Dr. S. is looking at the cavity to decide what size of radiation balloon to use. #RoseIORT

1:31

They are checking the tissue around the lumpectomy site, before they insert the balloon. #RoseIORT

1:35

They use a temporary balloon to help decide what size radiation balloon to use. #RoseIORT

1:36

Dr. Howell, our great radiation oncologist, is here. She will be the one who does the IORT procedure. #RoseIORT

1:38

The team, looking at the ultrasound to determine balloon size. #RoseIORT

1:39

Fun fact—several people are wearing their Christmas surgical caps today. #RoseIORT

1:42

They’ve calibrated the size and it’s a 30 cc cavity. #RoseIORT

1:43

Now they are putting in the stainless steel shield to help protect the patient’s heart and lungs, etc during radiation. #RoseIORT

1:45

They are putting in a 6 cm shield. She has a shield over her hips and thyroid to protect her as well. #Rose IORT

1:46

Pathology just called to say that we have good margins and can proceed with the IORT procedure! #RoseIORT

1:48

Dr. S is making sure that the shield is covering the right areas. It took only 48 minutes, to get to the radiation portion. #RoseIORT

1:49

They are closing the tissue around the balloon, so that they have good approximation with the radiation. #RoseIORT

1:49

Each patient has a different treatment amount that is precisely calculated. #RoseIORT

1:50

They are going to do 7 minutes of radiation treatment. #RoseIORT

1:51

They are draping the patient for the radiation, and putting up the shield that the radiologist will stand behind. #RoseIORT

1:57

Setting up the room for radiation. #RoseIORT

2:03

We are waiting outside of the OR as Dr. Howell does the radiation. Does anyone have any questions for Dr. Schwartzberg? #RoseIORT

2:05

Radiation is finished! #RoseIORT

2:05

In just 7 minutes, our patient has received her entire course of radiation treatment for her breast cancer! #RoseIORT

2:07

Now, Dr. Schwartzberg is going to close up, and we’re done! #RoseIORT

2:08

Here is the Xoft Accent electric brachytherapy machine they use for the radiation. #RoseIORT

2:12

Dr. Schwartzberg is closing up the area. #RoseIORT

2:13

@PGangolly Dr. Schwartzberg wanted to let you know she’s a GW grad and to say hi to Foggy Bottom for her!

2:18

The recovery from this is pretty quick- Dr. S wants the patient up and walking by tomorrow. #RoseIORT

2:31

The surgery is all done! Now, they’ll take the patient back to Recovery & Dr. Schwartzberg expects her to be walking tomorrow. #RoseIORT

2:46

@myoungnp @mylifelineorg The patient did great

2:47

One question someone asked in email was if all types of breast cancers can be treated with IORT. #RoseIORT

2:47

The answer to that is no, not all types can be. #IORT is primarily used to treat patients with very early breast cancer. #RoseIORT

2:50

Someone else asked, “What is the treatment time compared to regular radiation?” #RoseIORT

2:51

The answer is, regular radiation treatments can take days or weeks. W/ IORT, the patient is done in less than 10 minutes. #RoseIORT

2:55

A big thank you to everyone who followed the surgery! #RoseIORT

This entry was posted in Cancer Care, Doctors at Rose, What's Happening at Rose, Women's Health and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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