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Breast Disease & Cancer

The American Cancer Society estimates over 200,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year. Medical advances and an increase in the number of mammograms administered have significantly brought down the mortality rate of breast cancer patients. But until a cure is found, early detection is crucial for successful treatment.

Diagnostic care you can trust

When a patient has a breast lump or an abnormal mammogram, the next step is to be referred to a surgical specialist like our board-certified surgeons for further evaluation. Frequently, a biopsy is required to definitively identify the cause of the abnormality. Several biopsy techniques are available, depending on the circumstances. We provide information to assist both patient and referring doctor in choosing the best procedure.

Diagnostic Techniques

  • Stereotactic core-needle biopsy
    An excellent alternative to open biopsy. With it, our surgeons can obtain samples of a breast lesion for testing with an extremely small incision. There is no significant scarring to the breast, and it is less painful than open surgical biopsy.
  • Vacuum-assisted core biopsy
    Similar to above, it can be done with stereotactic or ultrasound guidance.
  • Fine-needle aspiration
    The removal of tissue or fluid with a needle for examination under a microscope. Also called a needle biopsy.
  • Mammogram biopsy
    The patient’s mammogram image is used to localize a lesion for excision.
  • Breast ultrasound
    Uses harmless, high-frequency soundwaves to form an image. The soundwaves pass through the breast and bounce back, or echo, from various tissues to form a picture of the internal structures. It is not invasive and involves no radiation.

Conservative breast surgery

Some breast conditions can be treated nonsurgically. But when an operation is the patient’s best option, you will be glad to know that Dr. Rodriguez offers a number of techniques that allow for the removal of breast lumps, masses, tissue and lymph nodes. His goal is to provide patients with the best results possible. They favor the sentinel lymph node biopsy procedure in which he can detect and remove the single lymph node most likely to be affected by cancer — the “sentinel” node — rather than removing 10 to 20 lymph nodes. This advanced procedure also causes less arm swelling and is considerably less painful than a traditional lymph node biopsy.

And since Dr. Rodriguez strives for breast conservation, he will perform a lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy whenever possible. The tissue removed in this breast-preservation surgery is generally quite limited, and the lumpectomy statistics for cure rates meet or exceed the national average for cancer centers.

Additionally, when mastectomy is necessary, Dr. Rodriguez coordinates breast reconstruction surgery, including immediate or delayed reconstruction, with highly skilled plastic surgeons at Hamilton Breast Center.

Find NGS Elsewhere

North Georgia Surgery & Comprehensive Breast Center now has My Health Record Patient Portal!

With this patient portal, you are able to view your medical history, request an appointment, send a message to us at the doctor's office, and pay your bill online. If you have not already received your My Health Record patient portal invite, please let us know by calling 706-275-9000 and we can send you the invite! Or you can email us at info@northgeorgiasurgery.