The Amigo brings innovative breast cancer surgery

Undergoing any surgery can be difficult. But having to go back again can be even more unnerving.

In the United States, about 40 percent of women who require surgery to remove a breast tumor will have to go back.

However, a world-class operating suite is sparing some patients a second trip under the knife.
A 5,700 square ft. Massachusetts operating suite worth $20 million is the first of its kind. The suite, nicknamed Amigo, is at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. It has been a friend to breast cancer survivor Jane Davis.

“I've never been in a hospital, I've never had surgery, I've never had anesthesia so I was really really nervous,” said Davis.
She would have been part of the 40 percent to undergo a second surgery, but the Amigo allowed her doctor to take an MRI during her lumpectomy to make sure he had cancer-free margins.

"An MRI machine comes in from the ceiling and then looks at the area that I removed to see if I removed the tumor in its entirety," said Dr. Mehra Golshan of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The three room or suite has an electronically controlled operating table mounted with an MRI-compatible anesthesia delivery system and other advanced mobile imaging devices. Next door is a PET and CT room that scans the entire body.

"There is no other operating room where you can actually use an MRI or PET scan at the same time," said Golshan.

Surgical teams can view all of the patients’ images on large LCD monitors making surgeries more precise.

The Amigo is also used for other treatments that include brain surgery and radiation treatment for prostate cancer.


REPORT: MB# 3657

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among American women. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2012 approximately 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the US. (SOURCE:

RISK FACTORS: Factors that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer include:
* Radiation exposure - If you received radiation treatments to your chest as a child or young adult, your risk of breast cancer is increased.
* Beginning your period at a younger age. Beginning your period before age 12 increases your risk of breast cancer.
* Having your first child at an older age. Women who give birth to their first child after age 35 may have an increased risk of breast cancer.
* Having never been pregnant. Women who have never been pregnant have a greater risk of breast cancer than do women who have had one or more pregnancies.

LATEST TECHNOLOGY: Up to 40 percent of women in the U.S. who undergo a lumpectomy to remove a breast tumor require a second surgery. That's because surgeons often are unable to microscopically remove the entire tumor during the first surgery. Dr. Mehra Golshan, Director of Breast Surgical Services, at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, is changing all of that with the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO). "Using contrast MRI, an image is taken of the breast before the surgery and then again after the tumor is removed. We then use the images to ensure the entire tumor is removed, with clear margins, before the patient leaves the operating room," said Dr. Golshan. The idea may be simple but the technology is one of a kind. "I am hopeful this innovative procedure will help create a platform for tests and studies that could be done in the operating room to eliminate repeat procedures for breast cancer patients and allow patients to shift their focus to healing and living their lives," said Golshan. (SOURCE:

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Tom Langford
Senior Media Relations Specialist
Brigham and Women's Hospital

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