Each year, more than 2.8 million women in the United States have breast procedures that require precisely locating a tumor for a lumpectomy or a biopsy. On the day of the procedure, radiologists traditionally mark that area by numbing the breast with a local anesthetic, inserting a needle into the breast and threading a thin wire into that needle, then removing the needle so the wire remains as a marker for the surgeon. With needle/wire localization process, the wire is then removed during the biopsy procedure.
In addition to the aesthetics of seeing a wire in your breast, even when it’s temporary, this traditional process also presents logistical issues on the day of the surgery. Since the wire is inserted by a radiologist, and the lumpectomy is performed by surgeons, coordination between the two departments is essential to avoid a time lag between wire placement and the procedure. Wire dislodgement also can occur, resulting in additional delays—and increased patient stress.
SCOUT Radar Localization System
The SCOUT Radar Localization System is a wire-free localization system that has several advantages over the traditional wire-based system. Instead of placing a wire in the breast on the day of the surgery, SCOUT uses a reflector that is placed at the site prior to the day of surgery, at your convenience. The reflector can remain at the site indefinitely.
The day of the procedure, the surgeon will scan the breast with the SCOUT guide, using radio frequency signals to precisely lock onto the reflector and the surgery site. With lumpectomies, the goal is to remove the tumor and a small area of surrounding tissue, preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. Using SCOUT to identify that tumor site accurately helps increase the likelihood of a successful procedure.
Patients who are diagnosed with a more advanced breast cancer that has spread to the nodes under the arm, but not beyond, may undergo chemotherapy before any surgery is performed. For many of these patients, the SCOUT system can be used to localize not only the cancer in the breast, but also the cancer in the lymph node that was biopsied.
By removing the lymph node that was proven to be abnormal, doctors get a better understanding of the effectiveness of the chemotherapy treatment. This information is invaluable in reassuring the patient that the remaining lymph nodes under the arm need to be removed. Again, the SCOUT reflector can be safely placed well before the actual date of surgery.
Success with SCOUT
The SCOUT radar localization system has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in a biopsy or soft tissue site, such as a lymph node, that is intended to be removed surgically.
Since 2016, more than 350 medical centers in the U.S. have used SCOUT to perform 45,000 procedures. With the multiple benefits to both patients and surgeons, Orlando Health recently began offering SCOUT as an option, and has performed more than 50 SCOUT procedures in the last two months.
If you are scheduled for a lumpectomy or breast biopsy, talk with your doctor about the SCOUT radar localization system as an option to make your procedure more streamlined, effective and successful.
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Many women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancers today choose to have breast-conservation therapy known as lumpectomy, rather than mastectomy. SCOUT® wire-free radar localization, available at Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center, offers several advantages over the traditional method.