The Advanced Breast Biopsy Instrumentation (ABBI) Experience at a Community Hospital

Sheth, Dharti; Wesen, Cheryl A.
August 1999
American Surgeon;Aug1999, Vol. 65 Issue 8, p726
Academic Journal
The Advanced Breast Biopsy Instrumentation (ABBI; U.S. Surgical Corp., Norwalk, CT) system is the newest technology available for the evaluation and diagnosis of nonpalpable breast lesions. It requires the breast imaging specialist, often a radiologist, to localize the suspicious lesion to x, y, and z coordinates in a digital mammogram unit. The coordinates are then used by the surgeon to operate and direct the ABBI biopsy device around the lesion to obtain an excisional biopsy. Mammographic confirmation of the specimen is then immediately obtained. First introduced in the United States in April 1996, the ABBI system is aimed at rivaling the previously relied upon methods of needle-localized and core needle breast biopsies. In this study, we analyzed the first 15 months of use of the ABBI system in a community hospital to evaluate its applicability and efficacy in the diagnosis of nonpalpable breast lesions. Eighteen surgeons and three radiologists performed a total of 230 cases on 223 patients (seven patients had bilateral breast biopsies). The lesions biopsied included 114 clustered microcalcifications, 115 masses, and 1 retained guidewire from a previous needle-localized breast biopsy. The average time for the complete procedure was 65 minutes. Breast cancer was identified in 36 patients (36 of 230, 15.7%) and 1 additional patient had an incidental finding of lobular carcinoma in situ. The malignancies included 20 cases of invasive ductal carcinoma, 12 cases of ductal carcinoma in situ, and four cases of invasive lobular carcinoma. Overall, 84 per cent of the patients had a definitive benign diagnosis and required no further surgical treatment of their mammographic finding. There have been no known missed lesions after use of the ABBI procedure. In conclusion, our experience has shown the ABBI system to be a valuable option in the management of selected patients with nonpalpable breast lesions.


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