Game changing breast cancer surgery technology comes to Richmond

Health

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — More than 280,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. New technology is now available to help surgeons make sure they’ve removed all the cancer and avoid repeat surgeries. 

Doctors are calling the new device — the Kubtec Mozart Imaging System — a game changer. 

“It really tells me everything I need to know about the tumor and whether it has been removed in one shot,” said Dr. Kandace McGuire.

Dr. McGuire is chief of breast cancer surgery at VCU’s Massey Cancer Center and a breast surgeon at MEDARVA Surgery Center in Richmond.

MEDARVA is the first facility in the state to have the new 3D device.  Dr. McGuire says the equipment is used in the operating room to create images of the tissue in real-time.

“They need some more tissue down here,” Dr. McGuire said pointing an image on the screen as she showed how the technology helps surgeons find cancerous cells that might otherwise be missed.

Prior to the 3D technology, Dr. McGuire says 5% to 25% of all patients undergoing a lumpectomy would need another surgery to remove all lingering cancer cells. That can be time consuming, costly and scary for women.

“It is so traumatic or they’re so scared to come back in that they’ll actually opt to have a mastectomy,” said Karen Coltrane. 

Coltrane, who is with MEDARVA, said bringing the device to Richmond is part of their commitment to their patients.

Coltrane and McGuire both tell us the device which provides those real-time images in seconds also means less time waiting for radiologists while the patient sits on the operating table.

“Traditionally what a surgeon would do is then send what they removed down to a breast imager or radiologists to have it x-rayed. And you sit around the operating room and twiddle your thumbs while you wait around for them to look at it,” said Dr. McGuire. Coltrane added, “The less time on the operating table, the less time for something else to happen.”

Dr. McGuire explained the more time a patient spends on the operating table there’s a greater risk of having post-operative nausea and excessive drowsiness while under anesthesia.

The new technology also allows doctors to do more surgeries a day.

In the end, that means patients can get for an appointment sooner and get that tumor addressed faster.

“I am very excited to be one of the first people to use it,” said Dr. McGuire. 

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