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Hospital adopts new technology to help breast cancer patients

SALISBURY — Novant Health Rowan Medical Center has adopted new technology to improve the surgical experience for women being treated for breast cancer.

The SAVI SCOUT Surgical Guidance System makes lumpectomies (partial removal of the breast) and preoperative localizations more comfortable for patients and more accurate for surgeons, according to the hospital.

“This groundbreaking technology allows surgeons to precisely target the exact location of cancerous cells during a lumpectomy within 1 millimeter of accuracy,” said Dr. Leon Newman, surgeon at Novant Health Salisbury Surgical Associates. “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 huge advantages for breast cancer patients.”

SCOUT is an alternative to needle (guidewire) localization. Traditionally, patients would arrive several hours prior to their scheduled surgery to have a radiologist place a locator wire in the breast that stuck out externally. The wire guided the surgeon to the lump being removed.

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.

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.

“The SCOUT is an exciting technology that improves our patients’ experience and comfort by eliminating the disadvantages of the wire localization technique,” said Dr. Stephanie Morgan, board-certified radiologist with Mecklenburg Radiology Associates and director of women’s imaging at Novant Health Imaging Julian Road. “We are delighted to offer this progressive treatment option for our breast cancer patients.”

The SAVI SCOUT Surgical Guidance System is offered at Novant Health Imaging Julian Road located at 514 Corporate Circle in Salisbury.

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