Wellington Regional Medical Center (WRMC) recently adopted a new technology to improve the surgical experience for women who are being treated for breast cancer. An alternative to wire localization, SAVI SCOUT® Surgical Guidance System is a device used by surgeons and radiologists to precisely locate and direct the removal of a tumor during a lumpectomy or surgical biopsy procedure.
“Wellington Regional continues to demonstrate its commitment to offering advanced treatment options to patients with breast cancer,” said Robbin Lee, CEO of WRMC. “Breast cancer surgery can be physically and emotionally distressing for women, and we strive to find ways to create a better experience and better outcomes for our patients.”
Traditionally, patients would arrive several hours prior to their scheduled surgery to have a radiologist place a locator within the breast with wires that protruded and were left outside the breast. The wire guided the surgeon to the lump targeted for removal. For many women, this process leads to discomfort and increased anxiety. There is also a risk that the wire could move, making it harder to remove the cancerous tissue resulting in the need for a second surgery and a less pleasing cosmetic result.
“This new technology is a one-step process for our breast surgeons to precisely identify the target or tumor area prior to performing the lumpectomy, with accuracy of one millimeter or less,” said Kishore Dass, MD, radiation oncologist and Chairman of the Cancer Care Committee at WRMC.
Andrew Shapiro, general and breast surgeon at WRMC, adds, “This precision can help preserve healthy breast tissue, increase the rate of complete cancer removal and decrease the potential for follow up surgeries, which are significant advantages for breast cancer patients.” Dr. Shapiro performed the first radar localization at WRMC using the SCOUT® system earlier this month.
With the SCOUT system, the radiologist implants a tiny device called a reflector into the tumor up to 30 days before surgery. Instead of two procedures on the same day, the patient now undergoes only one, which can help make the experience less stressful. The day of the lumpectomy, the SCOUT system uses safe and non-radioactive radar waves to detect the location of the reflector within the breast, which allows the surgeon to precisely pinpoint and remove the tumor and the reflector.
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