Rebekah Griesenauer

Graduate Student, Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Michael Miga (Thesis)
Dr. Ingrid Meszoely (Clinical)

Breast conservation therapy has shown to have the same survival rate as mastectomy for tumors less than 2cm. However, approximately 50% of women eligible for lumpectomy choose to undergo a mastectomy due to surgical uncertainties. Preoperative diagnostic and biopsy information is acquired through mammography and magnetic resonance imaging. However, this information is acquired in the prone position (patient lying on stomach) while surgery is conducted in supine position (patient lying on back). There are large discrepancies in tumor location between the two positions, providing obstacles to surgeons delineating tumor location when planning lumpectomies. While prone images are superior for diagnostics, supine imaging puts the patient in a similar representation to the surgical orientation. Supine magnetic resonance images placed in the same geometric space and visualized with a digital representation of the patient breast surface along with intra-operative ultrasound and strain imaging may provide the surgeon with useful information regarding tumor location and breast deformation. The aim of this project is to improve the likelihood of achieving a successful lumpectomy while maximizing cosmetic outcome. My clinical interests include identification of clinical workflow obstacles and understanding the process a patient with cancer undergoes from how the disease presents itself to diagnosis to treatment options to how treatment is implemented.