New tool in the fight against breast cancer

We and our partners have been doing breast surgery for a long time. Collectively, we have been in practice for more than 100 years. In that time, we have witnessed amazing progress in breast cancer prevention and treatment allowing women to live longer and enjoy better quality of life. A few examples are image-guided biopsies, breast MRI, 3-D mammograms and more effective chemotherapy.

But breast biopsies and breast lumpectomies have remained the same until recently. The Breast Health Center at Prisma Health is excited to be the first in the state to bring less-invasive, cutting-edge technology to patients who need breast surgery. When a patient has an abnormal area or cancer seen on a mammogram or breast ultrasound that cannot be felt, the radiologists mark the area so the surgeon can find it. Some breast centers use a radioactive seed; most use a wire. At Prisma Health, we are using a new technology called Savi Scout.

Savi Scout is a non-radioactive, wire-free breast localization system that allows the surgeon to locate and remove abnormal breast tissue, high-risk lesions or cancer during surgery. Using Savi Scout, we can mark the tissue up to 30 days before surgery. Insertion takes about 30-60 minutes, and afterwards, the patient can do anything else they have planned that day. This decreases the amount of time spent at the surgery center, making the day of surgery much less hectic for the patient and their family.

This new technology will take a lot of the stress out of having breast surgery and improve the experience for many of our patients. So far, our Savi Scout patients have been very pleased with the process. In fact, one of our patients was interviewed by The Greenville News, WSPA News 7 and FOX Carolina News about her recent lumpectomy using Savi Scout.

It’s important to note that not every patient will be a good candidate for Savi Scout. There may be some instances, due to the size and location of the abnormal tissue, in which the surgeon and radiologist will recommend localization of the cancer with a small flexible wire. We provide a team approach to cancer care and treatment at Greenville Health System. Surgical recommendations are based upon what is most beneficial for each individual patient under our care.

Click here to watch a video on how Savi Scout works.

If you are facing a breast surgery and have questions about your procedure, please contact the Prisma Health Breast Health Center at (864) 454-2224.

Wendy Cornett, MD, and Brian McKinley, MD, are surgical oncologists with the Prisma Health Breast Health Center.

Protect yourself against breast cancer by getting an annual mammogram after age 40. Find out how to schedule your mammogram here. You also can schedule a mammogram through your MyChart account.

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