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New Technology Makes Lumpectomies Easier for Women

| Date Posted: 9/9/2019

Raymond Washington, M.D.

Stewart Rasmussen, M.D.

PINEHURST--Physicians at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital have a new tool in their arsenal to make breast cancer lumpectomy surgery more precise and less painful. Unlike the traditional method of inserting a wire into the breast to locate tumors just prior to surgery, the Savi Scout surgical guidance system uses a small reflector and radar technology to give surgeons the exact location of lesions. This provides a number of benefits for patients, says Ray Washington, M.D., FACS, a surgeon at Moore Regional.


"The Savi Scout system has brought an even greater degree of precision to breast cancer surgery," says Washington. "We are able to pinpoint the exact location of the tumor and the best way to reach it during surgery. This precision also allows us to preserve more healthy breast tissue while ensuring we remove the cancerous material, which can give our patients better cosmetic results following breast surgery."


Previously, breast cancer patients had to undergo a separate, pre-operative procedure on the day of a lumpectomy to insert a thin wire into the breast to identify the tumor's location. This involved coordinating a radiologist's schedule with the surgical schedule, which could be problematic and lead to extended wait times for the patient. The procedure could also be uncomfortable, adding another layer of stress for patients on the day of surgery.


The Savi Scout system eliminates these hurdles to enhance patient care. It uses a wire-free radar system to localize the exact location of cancerous tissue in the breast. A small reflector, about the size of a grain of rice, is inserted in the breast days or weeks before surgery in a relatively pain-free procedure. This can be scheduled at a time convenient to the patient and physicians, because there is no limit on how long the reflector can remain in the breast.


"I was first introduced to the Savi Scout device during my breast imaging fellowship,” says Stewart Rasmussen, radiologist with FirstHealth and Pinehurst Radiology. “During that time, I was able to see first-hand how much it helped radiologists and surgeons work together to locate, mark and remove breast cancers with greater accuracy and comfort for patients.”


During surgery, the Savi Scout system locates the reflector using radar pulses, giving surgeons precise measurements to pinpoint the tumor. It provides a roadmap for surgeons to reach the tumor, removing cancerous cells while preserving healthy breast tissue. Together, these benefits can add up to more normal-looking breasts following surgery, less post-surgical pain and better success rates for lumpectomy procedures.


“I am excited to now have this state-of-the-art technology here at Moore Regional,” adds Dr. Rasmussen. “This will greatly assist patients on their road to recovery."

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