New surgical option for breast cancer patients in Connecticut


There’s another option for women with breast cancer when it comes to targeting and removing tumors.

 “This is the wire here going into the area,” says Dr. Heather Frimmer, pointing to digital image. 

 Instead of wires guiding surgeons to the cancer, Dr. Jeanne Capasse explains,  “Some women would pass out having this invasive procedure.” 

Now there’s the Savi Scout system, which uses radar to detect a reflector planted at the tumor site. 

“This is the needle we use to actually place the device in the breast,” says Dr. Frimmer, a radiologist at Norwalk Hospital, the first health care facility offering it in Connecticut.   

She says it’s less invasive, more comfortable and convenient for patients undergoing a lumpectomy,   

Dr. Frimmer demonstrates, “And then we just pull back on this device and the little Savi reflector comes right out and sits right inside the breast tissue.”

Once inside – she points again,  “And you can see this white spot here.  That’s the breast cancer and the little white line inside that spot is the reflector or antennae.”  

A sound transmitted guides breast surgeons like Dr. Capasse to find the tumor and remove it, “In the past, when the radiologist put the wire in, they would come from the side but now I can come right down on where the lump is.” 

And less healthy tissue is taken out.  

Dr. Capasse says, “We want to preserve the nice shape of the breast and make it look cosmetically good after surgery.”  

The procedure is done during a mammogram or ultrasound — days before surgery.

Drs. Capasse and Frimmer say it’s a great option for them as well as patients like Mindy Goff who says, “It’s definitely one less thing I had to worry about.”  

Goff goes on to say, “I thought about the accuracy, the comfort and the fact that  it was new technology– more or less helping to advance the quality of breast cancer care.”   

Last summer, she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in her left breast.  

“It’s all good, all good,.” says Goff.    

Dr. Frimmer says using wires to locate the tumor is still an option – at times she says it’s a  better choice when there is a larger mass involved.

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