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Surgical Guidance System Targets Tumor Location in Multiple Dimensions for Precise Excision

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 16 Feb 2024
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Image: Using the SCOUT system, surgeons can precisely target the affected tissue to pinpoint its location within 1mm (Photo courtesy of Merit Medical)
Image: Using the SCOUT system, surgeons can precisely target the affected tissue to pinpoint its location within 1mm (Photo courtesy of Merit Medical)

Every 14 seconds, a woman receives a breast cancer diagnosis, making it the world's most prevalent cancer. In 2020 alone, 2.3 million women were diagnosed, and 685,000 succumbed to the disease. Lumpectomy, a breast-conserving surgery, is a common treatment option. Yet, approximately 20-30% of women who undergo this procedure require a second surgery. Now, a new surgical guidance system targets tumor location in multiple dimensions for precise excision and successful surgeries, marking a significant advancement in breast cancer care.

The SCOUT MD Surgical Guidance System from Merit Medical Systems (South Jordan, UT, USA) is a groundbreaking solution that allows for the implantation of up to four different reflector configurations in abnormal breast tissue or other soft tissues. This enables precise localization of tumors in multiple dimensions, aiding in more accurate surgical excision. Physicians and patients have the option to implant the reflector during a biopsy, and its long-term implant can be done any time before the surgery. The reflector, with a body size of just 4mm - smaller than a grain of rice – features antennas made of super-elastic nitinol alloy, a material frequently used in medical devices. It offers a real-time distance measurement capability within a 60mm range and 360-degree detection with an accuracy of ± 1mm.

The system offers flexibility in placement methods, including ultrasound, radiography, and stereotactic guidance. The SCOUT Guide activates the previously passive reflector, providing instant feedback to guide the surgical dissection path and reduce guesswork. This precise method aims to minimize harm to surrounding healthy tissue, decrease the chances of needing a second operation, and prevent the emotional and physical distress often associated with repeat surgeries. The SCOUT MD Surgical Guidance System has received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), expanding Merit's oncology portfolio aimed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and other soft tissue cancers.

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