South Mississippi Surgeons and South Mississippi Surgeons Breast Center has provided state of the art breast care for both benign and malignant breast disease to the Mississippi Gulf Coast since 1996. Under the direction of John D. Bailey, MD, the South Mississippi Surgeons Breast Center has been the leader in providing cutting edge technology in breast surgery to the growing needs of the Mississippi Gulf Coast area.  Our breast center provides a full spectrum of services, including surgical consultation, stereo-tactic biopsy, ultrasound guided needle biopsy, and much more.

Some of our innovative services include:

Breast Biopsies

Generally, the first diagnostic step is a needle biopsy. This involves a small incision and the removal of cells from the lump. This will tell the doctor whether the lump contains fluid or solid tissue. If it contains solid tissue, then it will be evaluated by a pathologist to determine if it’s benign or malignant. From there, a treatment plan will be created.


If the lump is small enough and tests have determined that the cancer hasn’t spread too widely, your surgeon may be able to excise the lump itself and possibly any axillary (underarm) lymph nodes in order to remove all affected cells. Radiation may follow and sometimes chemotherapy as well.


A more advanced form of cancer that has impacted more tissue may require a mastectomy. This is the complete removal of the breast. During a mastectomy, the breast tissue and axillary lymph nodes are removed. The chest muscle is left in place. Following surgery, reconstruction of the breast may be an option. A mastectomy may eliminate the need for radiation, but not always.

Breast Ultrasound

A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to make a picture of the tissues inside the breast. A breast ultrasound can show all areas of the breast, including the area closest to the chest wall, which is hard to study with a mammogram. An ultrasound does not replace the need for a mammogram, but it is often used to check abnormal results from a mammogram.

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing for the BRCA mutation is done in high risk patients, or patients who have other family members that carry the BRCA mutation. Tests are done using swabbed cells from inside the mouth. The BRCA mutation causes a significantly increased risk for Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer. If you are perceived as high risk, you will get a comprehensive analysis. This is a full examination of the most common changes of the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes.

  1. If you are high risk, you will get a comprehensive analysis. This is a full examination of the most common changes of the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes.
  2. If you already have a family member who has a mutation, then you will undergo a single site analysis. This is where the mutation specific analysis is done for individuals at one site only, the site that the other family members are positive for.
  3. If you are of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, we will do a multisite analysis of the three most common BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations in individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.

The genetic testing is done with a swab of the cells in your mouth. This is a two visit process.

Port Placement for Chemo

A catheter connected to a port is surgically inserted under the skin of the chest by a surgeon in the operating room under sterile conditions. You will receive either local anesthesia or be consciously sedated. You may be able to see and/or feel a small bump in your chest or arm, but you won’t see the tip of the catheter outside the body. Before each “access” or needle insertion, the skin over the port may be numbed using a cream.

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy

A surgeon injects a radioactive substance, a blue dye, or both near the tumor to locate the position of the sentinel lymph node. The surgeon then uses a device that detects radioactivity to find the sentinel node or looks for lymph nodes that are stained with the blue dye. Once the sentinel lymph node is located, the surgeon makes a small incision (about 1/2 inch) in the overlying skin and removes the node.

The sentinel node is then checked for the presence of cancer cells by a pathologist. If cancer is found, the surgeon may remove additional lymph nodes, either during the same biopsy procedure or during a follow-up surgical procedure. SLNBs may be done on an outpatient basis or may require a short stay in the hospital.

SLNB is usually done at the same time the primary tumor is removed. However, the procedure can also be done either before or after removal of the tumor.

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

When there is an abnormality that is found on a mammogram, and it is felt that a diagnosis is needed, we use a minimally invasive technique for biopsy called a Stereotactic Breast Biopsy. This procedure uses xray guidance to identify the lesion. We then insert a needle into the abnormality and take several biopsies. A clip is then placed into the biopsy site for future reference. You will then be given some post procedure instructions, and a follow up appointment will be made for you to come back and get the results.




Our Breast Center is dedicated to timely diagnosis and comprehensive treatment for all breast problems. We give our patients individualized options for treatment and partner with them to chart the best possible course of care. Our experience with referring physicians and specialists in the region makes South Mississippi Surgeons the best possible extension of ongoing care.

We are inspired by our patients, committed to research and determined to help, which is why thousands of women and men in Mississippi rely on us for their breast health needs.