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Easing the Anxiety of Breast Surgery

White Plains Hospital

October 21, 2019

Easing the Anxiety of Breast Surgery

The high-tech biopsy aid SAVI SCOUT helps to reduce patient discomfort and stress on surgery day.

For patients who are undergoing breast surgery for the removal of a cancerous tumor or another pathology, there is now new technology—known as SAVI SCOUT, or SCOUT for short—to make the process a little easier. SCOUT uses an infrared seed or reflector that is placed in the breast prior to surgery. When a surgeon passes a wand over the site in the operating room, it gives off a series of beeps alerting them to the exact location of the abnormality to be removed.

Prior to SCOUT, “radiologists would insert a wire into the breast, to guide a surgeon to the biopsy area,” explains Dr. Caren Greenstein, Director of Breast Imaging at White Plains Hospital. “The infrared reflector eliminates the need for the wire, thus cutting down on a lot of stress, discomfort and anxiety on surgery day.”

In the traditional method, patients need to come to the hospital several hours before their surgery to have the wire placed. They often have to sit and wait with the wire extending out of the breast and dangling for the actual breast surgery.

The reflector, which is about the size of a sesame seed, can be placed weeks or even months before a patient’s surgery. That way, it doesn’t extend their surgical day, which is already a very stressful time, says Dr. Greenstein.

“This is part of our continued effort to improve our surgical techniques, whether it’s something like SCOUT, or investing in new equipment to find breast cancers that are just a few millimeters in size,” Dr. Greenstein says. “The progress is amazing and ever changing.”

As is the case with most medical devices and procedures, not everyone is an idea candidate for SCOUT, such as when the abnormality is very deep, or in those who have more than one area of abnormality very close together. Surgeons will consult with patients beforehand to be sure that using SCOUT is the best option for them.

SCOUT is available for both men and women, and is covered by most insurance.

White Plains Hospital’s Women’s Imaging Department specializes in screening for diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions specifically for women, including benign breast lumps, cysts and high-risk conditions. Imaging services, including evening hours, are available at White Plains, Rye Brook, New Rochelle and Armonk locations. Call (914) 681-2929 to make an appointment.

Dr. Caren Greenstein

Dr. Caren Greenstein is the Director of Breast Imaging at White Plains Hospital.


Similar Topics: biopsy, breast cancer, Savi Scout,