What are "Quality Measures?"
Quality Measures are specific aspects of surgical care that can be tracked to see how well a surgeon performs their job.
Why don't other Breast Surgeons share quality measure results with you?
Most do not know their results. Such surgeons say they are good...but do not take the time to calculate their results to know for sure.
Achieving Surgical "Best Practice" Quality in Breast Care:
All of these surgical Quality Measures meet and exceed not only standard benchmarks of good practice, but achieve "Best Practice" quality. We work daily to make the "Best" even "Better". The below statistics represent data collected from the calendar year 2009.
Breast Conservation Rate in Early Stage Breast Cancer:
When your surgeon performs a lumpectomy, he/she tries to remove the cancer lesion with an adequate margin of normal, surrounding tissue. If the breast cancer is involved in the margin (cancer cells at the edge of the lumpectomy specimen) a re-excision surgery is often needed to make sure all of the cancer is removed. Adequate margins are important to lessen the risk of cancer growing back in the future (a "local recurrence").
It is our job to lessen the chance of requiring a 2nd breast cancer surgery (re-excision rate). Our re-excision rate is about half the published national average.
Sentinel Node Biopsy Rate:
A Sentinel Node Biopsy is a minimally invasive evaluation of the axillary lymph nodes it determine if one’s breast cancer has spread to this regional location.
Our practice is a leading advocate for Ultrasound Axillary Lymph Node Screening in newly diagnosed breast cancer and image guided needle biopsies of suspicious lymph nodes. This techniques is even more minimally invasive that a sentinel node biopsy. All of our early stage breast biopsy patients undergo a minimally invasive axillary lymph node evaluation by either Sentinel Node Biopsy or were found to axillary nodal disease by Ultrasound Axillary Needle biopsy.
In early stage breast cancer, breast conservation (AKA: Lumpectomy) cures just as many women as a mastectomy. Not everyone is a candidate for breast conservation, but most are. The NAPBC requires >50% breast conservation in Stage 0,I,II breast cancer. We far exceed this requirement.
Image Guided Breast Biopsies:
(Ultrasound and Stereotactic Guided Needle Breast Biopsies)
Minimally Invasive biopsy = Standard of Care
We feel that this is the standard-of-care approach to a suspicious breast lesion, if it is a technically feasible procedure. Unfortunately, many surgeons do not fully embrace this approach to breast cancer. A recent 2009 study at Columbia Medical Center in New York showed that only 70% of breast cancers are diagnosed by needle biopsies. This likely represents many, if not most major medical centers. "Where's the Outrage!" was the title of a companion article by leading breast surgeon, Melvin Silverstein, MD. He was appalled by this suboptimal care across the country.
We are proud that our breast cancer patients are diagnosed by minimally invasive techniques. Our image biopsy rate of 95% exceeds all "Best Practice" recommendations.
Lumpectomy Re-Excision Rate:
NVBS is a division of Drs. Farr, Wampler, Henson, Williams, Dougherty, Brown, Ltd.