Patients come to see Dr. James Vopal of The Breast Care Center of the Treasure Coast with a great deal of concern or anxiety about a breast abnormality, but they leave with solid understanding of their condition and information about its treatment.
“Most women have never seen their own mammograms,” says Dr. Vopal, a skilled and experienced general surgeon specializing in breast care needs. “I go over the mammogram and results with them and explain treatments.
A nonsurgical procedure Dr. Vopal employs is the stereotactic mammography-directed biopsy. It requires a very small incision and can test masses that are too small to be felt by the hand. “You don’t have to go to an operating room,” Dr. Vopal explains, “and the results are exceedingly accurate.” With computer guidance, a multi-dimensional image of the breast is created and a needle is inserted through an incision no greater than 4 millimeters in size. The procedure, which lasts 15-30 minutes, can take as many as 20 samples with a single insertion and creates no subsequent disfigurement.
Another important procedure performed by Dr. Vopal is the ultrasound-guided biopsy. He uses this method frequently, as it is ideal for obtaining tissue samples of larger solid masses. Ultrasound-guided biopsy prevents the need to remove tissue surgically, and also eliminates the radiation exposure that comes from using x-rays to locate the mass.