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Published on March 27, 2017

Lumpectomies just got more patient friendlyLumpectomies just got more patient friendly

Breast surgeons at Cape Cod Hospital now have a new tool that Kathryn Dalton, DO, refers to as a “magic wand.”

SAVI SCOUT® is a radar localization system created by Cianna Medical that helps make lumpectomies more precise and efficient, explained Dr. Dalton, who is director of breast services for Cape Cod Healthcare.

“I’m very excited,” she said. “It’s the newest, latest and greatest technology and we are actually getting it before Boston is, which we are very excited about.”

In a method similar to a needle biopsy, a radiologist places a small electromagnetic wave reflector into the tumor. It can be done up to 30 days before surgery, meaning that the surgeon’s schedules are no longer coupled with the radiologist’s schedule.

“For women who have really obvious breast cancers, they can put it in at the time of the biopsy and save them an additional procedure,” Dr. Dalton said.

On the day of the lumpectomy, the surgeon takes a wand that is attached to a console and scans the breast. The wand emits non-radioactive electromagnetic waves and the console provides precise audio and visual feedback so the surgeon can find exactly where the tumor is located.

Once the tumor is removed, the surgeon then uses the wand to make sure the reflector has been removed as well.

It doesn't change the surgery itself," Dr. Dalton said. "It's just a different way to localize it that is better for the patient.

SCOUT Animation from Cianna Medical Inc. on Vimeo

Since the 1970s, breast surgeons have traditionally used pre-operative wire placement to help guide them to a lumpectomy tumor. The wires have to be placed by a radiologist, which requires surgeons and radiologists to coordinate their schedules. With wire placement, many patients who are scheduled for afternoon surgeries have to sit for hours in pre-op with a wire in their breast waiting for their surgery.

“This can be painful for women,” Dr. Dalton said. “Some people actually faint because of the wires. And with the wire, there can be migration because if the patient moves the wire can move, so it’s harder to correctly locate the tumor.”

Surveys [pdf] done by Cianna Medical indicate that surgeries done with SAVI SCOUT begin earlier and are more likely to stay on schedule. Seventy percent of patients return to work the next day after their surgery and 97 percent of patients would recommend it, according to the company.

SAVI SCOUT received the 2016 Scientific Impact Award at the American Society of Breast Surgeons’ Annual Meeting. It also was a finalist in the 2016 Fierce Innovation Awards.