New Process and Technology to Find Breast Tumors Faster, Reducing Discomfort and Cost for Patients at Intermountain Healthcare

Previously when a patient experienced an abnormal mammogram, they’d be offered a biopsy at a later date, sometimes a week or more away. Now, doctors can offer a same-day biopsy.

Intermountain Healthcare has instituted a new process to streamline the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer patients at its Intermountain Medical Center Breast Cancer Center.

When doctors find a suspicious lesion, they can offer a same-day biopsy, not weeks or months later. This expedited process not only saves the patient a trip back to the clinic, but it also results in efficiency for the healthcare system, and less anxiety for the patient awaiting results.

Doctors are also enhancing the expedited biopsy process with the latest technology by using a radar reflecting marker called SAVI Scout. This system features a reflector that is placed at the tumor site before a lumpectomy or surgical biopsy.

During the procedure, the surgeon scans the breast using the SAVI Scout guide, which emits infrared light and a radar signal to detect the location of the reflector. Real-time audible and visual indicators assist the surgeon in accurately locating the reflector, along with the target tissue. This higher level of localization precision allows the surgeon to plan a surgical approach that may result in a better outcome. If the tumor must be removed, the doctor simply finds the marker using a probe and removes it.

Previously, a radiologist would guide a wire through the breast to a metallic marker that was placed in the tumor. Because they had to use an ultrasound to do the procedure, they couldn’t always take a direct path with the wire. A surgeon would then have to cut along the wire to extract the tumor. With a guidewire eliminated from the process, it saves time, money, and anxiety of waiting.