Innovative care for breast cancer treatment

Ascension St. Vincent Carmel provides a state-of-the-art cancer detection tool, the SAVI SCOUT® for hard-to-detect breast tumors.

Wire-free SAVI SCOUT® Technology

Ascension St. Vincent Cancer Care doctors have many options for cancer patients and their loved ones. Many of today's innovative breast treatments include procedures that zero in on the tumor to help preserve breast tissue and use genetic assessments to gauge your risk and that of your family members. Predictive biomarker tests look for aggressive proteins associated with many types of breast cancer. Combination therapies (surgical, medication, and radiation) along with genetic counseling, supportive care, nutritional interventions, and rehabilitative services create holistic care – a cornerstone for caring for the body, mind, and spirit.

Indianapolis breast surgeons have a new tool to pinpoint hard-to-detect breast tumors during surgery.  Of all Ascension Breast Centers in Michigan, Tennessee, and Indiana using SAVI SCOUT® wire-free technology, St. Vincent Breast Care Center in Carmel, Indiana is the first in the nation to utilize the SCOUT system in more than 80% of patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy).

Innovating in Breast Cancer Surgery

Before SAVI SCOUT® technology was implemented, the standard way to locate a tumor for surgical removal was to use a wire. The wire is placed into the breast to help the surgeon identify the area to be removed. The wire protrudes from the breast until removed with surgery. For many women, the wire is an uncomfortable distraction, making some worry over moving the wire out of place. Now surgery can be smoother with SAVI SCOUT®. Instead of using a wire, a small radar reflector the size of a grain of rice is implanted by the radiologist in the breast at the site of the tumor. The reflector is so small that the patient will not feel this inside her breast. This tiny radar reflector is later removed with the tumor during surgery.

“Placing the SCOUT reflector is a quick, image-guided outpatient procedure that takes under two minutes,” says Larry Stover, MD, Radiology, Northwest Radiology at St. Vincent. “The patient leaves the appointment not even feeling the reflector in the breast. This alone is comforting and reassuring - the reflector is there to essentially geo-locate the tumor.”

During the surgical procedure to remove the breast tumor, the surgeon scans the breast using the SCOUT® handpiece. It detects the location of the radar reflector within 1mm. This handpiece assists the surgeon in accurately locating the reflector, along with the targeted breast tumor. This technology supports efforts on all levels to provide precision medicine in cancer treatment. The SAVI SCOUT® technology gives breast surgeons valuable and precise information about the tumor location allowing the surgeon to evaluate the location of the tumor from all angles in the breast.

In November 2017, the FDA announced the wire-free radar SAVI SCOUT® cleared for long-term implantation of the reflector. The radar reflector can be placed at any time. It does not interfere with breast MRI studies, and the patient is not restricted by any other tests they may need before surgery.

"This type of radar localization allows the surgeon to plan a precise surgical approach resulting in less tissue being removed during surgery,” says Erica Giblin, MD, Breast Surgeon and Medical Director, St. Vincent Breast Care Services. “The ability to precisely locate a tumor helps to increase the probability of complete cancer removal and reduce the likelihood of needing follow-up surgeries. This is a huge advantage for breast cancer patients."

Choosing Breast-Conserving Surgery

Breast-conserving surgery (BCS) is often an option for women with early-stage breast cancer. It is also referred to as lumpectomy, partial mastectomy, or segmented mastectomy. This type of operation removes the lump (tumor) while leaving as much normal breast tissue as possible. Lymph nodes are also usually removed, and radiation treatment may be necessary. Not all women with breast cancer are candidates for BCS.

Talk to your breast surgeon to find out whether BCS with SAVI SCOUT® is an option for you. St. Vincent Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers and Evansville currently perform the outpatient procedure to place the SAVI SCOUT® reflector. At St. Vincent Breast Care Services, we want every patient to be well-informed of every option, from the surgical, medical and radiation therapy treatments, to breast reconstruction, and cancer support programs.

Understand your breast health options. Ask about the breast-conserving surgery approach that uses wire-free radar localization.

To schedule a mammogram at the Ascension St. Vincent Breast Center in Indianapolis, call 317-338-9590 or for Carmel, call 317-582-7000.