Archbold offers new localization technology for breast surgery

Published 3:26 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Studies show one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.  Because of the regular use of mammography screening, many breast cancers in the U.S. are found at an early stage. 

Those diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, might be eligible for breast conserving therapy which includes the removal of the tumor or lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy.

“A lumpectomy is a surgical procedure where only the cancer plus a rim of normal tissue is removed,” explains Cianna Pender, MD, general surgeon at South Georgia Surgical Associates.  “This enables us to spare healthy tissue to achieve a more pleasing cosmetic result.”

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Breast conserving surgery, or lumpectomy, requires “localization” of the tumor prior to surgery for its removal.  Typically, this is achieved by wire localization on the day of surgery. On the morning of the surgery, patients have another mammogram. Following the mammogram, a radiologist inserts a needle with a hooked wire into the breast. Once the wire is inserted through the tumor, the needle is removed. The wire stays in place, with one end connected to the tumor while the other end is penetrating out of the skin. During surgery, the wire guides the surgeon to the tumor. The wire is then removed once the surgeon removes the tumor.

In an effort to make the localization more comfortable and convenient for the patient, South Georgia Surgical Associates is now offering a new, innovative technology to assist during breast conserving surgery and the removal of cancerous tumors.

SAVI SCOUT® is a radar localization technology that eliminates the need for wire localization.

“Wire localization of breast lumps can be uncomfortable for the patient and can lead to longer wait times the day of surgery which can lead to increased patient anxiety,” said Dr. Pender.

With the new technology, during the patient’s initial biopsy to diagnose the cancer, a small, non-radioactive reflector is placed in the breast that diminishes the need for an extra procedure the day of surgery. During surgery, the SAVI SCOUT® system emits infrared light and a micro-impulse signal to detect the reflector. The surgeon then uses the information from the reflector to locate and remove the tumor within 1mm of accuracy. 

Precision in locating a tumor during a lumpectomy aids the surgeon in locating and removing the target tissue which may reduce the probability of having to endure additional surgeries.

“We are so excited to be able to offer this new technology,” said Dr. Pender.  “This truly is life changing for breast cancer patients. It eliminates the extra discomfort for patients and offers a more precise way for surgeons to locate and remove the tumor.”