Conemaugh Memorial Utilizes New Technology for Breast Cancer Patients

February 6, 2019

Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center is pleased to offer new surgical treatment technology for breast cancer patients. The wire-free radar localization system uses radar technology to mark the area in the breast that needs to be removed surgically, allowing for precise removal of the tumor.

The new wire-free device is a reflector about the size of a grain of rice and, once inserted, the patient is not even aware that it is in place. The device is non-active in the patient until activated by the surgeon. The surgeon uses safe, non-radioactive radar waves to detect the reflector within the breast with accuracy up to 1 mm. Surgeons have more control when making an incision to adequately reach and remove the tumor, allowing for reduced scarring. Once the tumor and wire-free system are removed, the technology sensors confirm that the device has been removed in entirety from the patient.

This is an improvement over the current practice where a wire is inserted before surgery and the end of the guide wire remains outside of the breast, covered for safety. Unlike wire technology that can be displaced from the breast during patient transport, when moving onto the operating table, or during preparations, the wire-free device is internal in the breast tissue and does not become dislodged. The wire-free system can be used for cancerous cells as well as 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.”

Appointments with Conemaugh Physician Group – Breast Surgery may be made by calling (814) 262-2444.