Surgical Device Benefits Patients at Mercy’s Arkansas Locations

March 18, 2021
SAVI SCOUT Dr. Stephen Seffense with Mercy Fort Smith demonstrates the SAVI SCOUT, a wireless device that eliminates the need for a pre-op procedure for patients undergoing a lumpectomy or surgical biopsy.

A device now being used at Mercy hospitals in Arkansas has helped improve patient experience while creating a better workflow for doctors.

The SAVI SCOUT system allows surgeons to pinpoint breast tumors more easily prior to a lumpectomy or surgical biopsy procedure. The system uses a reflector placed on top of the tumor and radar technology to help guide surgeons to its location, thus eliminating the need for wires to be used in localization.

The reflector can be placed anytime before surgery, even during biopsy, which means a localization procedure the day of surgery can be eliminated.

Mercy’s Arkansas locations are the first in the state to utilize the SAVI SCOUT. Dr. Stephen Seffense, general surgeon at Mercy Fort Smith, said the system helps expedite surgery, which is beneficial to both patient and staff.

“The workflow for both radiology and surgery is much better,” Dr. Seffense said. “With the SCOUT localization with the reflector, we can place that anytime before surgery. So, it helps our workflow tremendously. They head right into surgery, and the tumor is already marked.”

Michelle Bonds, manager of mammography at Mercy Breast Center – Fort Smith, said the SAVI SCOUT system also helps to reduce the patient’s discomfort.

“The wire localization process can only be done the day of surgery, and the wire is inside the breast as well as outside the breast, which sometimes can be uncomfortable for the patient,” she said. “Another benefit of this system is to reduce the patient’s time in the clinic on the day of surgery. We can place a reflector any day before their surgery and the patient can’t feel or see the tiny marker, which is about the size of a grain of rice.”

Bonds added that the system is “a less invasive way for us to localize the area of interest for the surgeon.”

Seffense-Placzek Dr. Stephen Seffense, left, and Dr. Andrea Placzek have utilized the SAVI SCOUT device at Mercy's Arkansas locations.

Dr. Andrea Placzek, a board certified radiologist with Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas, agrees.

“Our patients love SAVI SCOUT. It’s quicker, more accurate and more comfortable. I would never go back to wires,” Dr. Placzek said.

Precise tumor localization is important because it can increase the probability of complete cancer removal, reducing the need for any follow-up surgery.

The SCOUT system works by both sight and sound. A probe measures how close surgeons are to the tumor with a series of beeps as the device nears the reflector. Surgeons can make smaller and more accurate incisions by utilizing this tool.

“The reflector is sitting right in the middle of the tumor,” Dr. Seffense said. “You find the tumor with mammography, then they just place the marker.”

The new system can also help surgeons achieve the best cosmetic results because they are potentially removing less healthy tissue.

“It’s wonderful cosmetically, because it’s easier for us to reconstruct the breast later,” Dr. Seffense said.

Seffense SAVI Scout Dr. Stephen Seffense with Mercy Fort Smith demonstrates the SAVI SCOUT, a wireless device that eliminates the need for a pre-op procedure for patients undergoing a lumpectomy or surgical biopsy.

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