What is the risk of seroma from MammoSite brachytherapy?

Expert Answers

AlexanderSwistelMD (Physician - Surgery - Breast (Verified) ) - 12 / 09 / 2012

Seroma often accompanies partial breast irradiation or brachytherapy that uses a temporary balloon catheter such as the mammosite device or other similar such instruments. They allow delivery of high dose targeted radiation over a short period of days, but as they are inside the breast, our bodies tend to form capsules around foreign objects even after a few days. These capsules then fill with fluid and can persist for many years. It is not dangerous but it can be annoying especially if the seroma cavity is large. Sometimes, patients have had to have the seroma cavities surgically removed because of the discomfort.

Because of this, some centers are now using high dose intraoperative radiation that is completed at the time of lumpectomy and this has resulted in no seroma cavity formation as the device is removed before the patient leaves the operating room.
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