Conemaugh Memorial uses a new technology for breast cancer patients

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The Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center now offers a new surgical treatment technology for breast cancer patients. It is a wire-free radar localization system. This system uses radar technology to mark the area that needs to be removed surgically from the breast. It allows for the precise removal of the tumor.

This new wire-free device is about the size of a grain of rice and is a reflector. Once it is inserted the patient doesn’t know that is in place. It is also inactive until the surgeon activates it. They use safe, non-radioactive radar waves that dectect the reflector in the breast with an accuracy up to 1 mm. This allows the surgeons to have more control while making the incision to reach and remove the tumor, which leads to less scarring. Once the tumor and the wire-free system are removed, the sensors confirm that the device has been removed entirely from the patient.

This is an improvement over the current wire practice. The wire is inserted before surgery and the end of the guide wire is left exposed, but covered for safety. The wire can be displaced from the patient during transport or other movements, but the new wire-free system will not become dislodged. The wire-free system can be used for cancerous cells, but also for breast abnormalities.

“Surgery can make patients anxious,” said Renee Arlow, MD, board-certified breast surgeon for Conemaugh Physician Group – Breast Surgery. “Performing this procedure prior to surgery helps to lessen the patient’s anxiety, decreases the time required at the hospital the day of surgery, and increases patient comfort.”

“Patient comfort and safety is always our priority,” said Dr. Arlow. “By using this technology we are providing a better patient experience, becoming more accurate with the removal of breast tumors, and decreasing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.”

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