For many women with breast cancer, a mastectomy will be done as part of their treatment plan. On occasion, it is used as a preventative measure. During reconstruction, the breasts will essentially be rebuilt to match in size and shape, with the nipple and areola added later if desired. When performing breast reconstruction, our goal is to perform safe surgery without compromising any of the aesthetics.
Although breast reconstruction is a safe procedure, as with any surgery, there is potential for complications, with the majority of them related to poor blood perfusion to the tissue. If tissue circulation is less than optimal, it can result in unsatisfactory outcomes, such as difficulty healing, and possibly additional surgery. Risk factors for poor circulation include tobacco or any form of nicotine use, obesity, radiation, and previous breast surgery.
At Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis, our breast surgeons utilize the most advanced, cutting-edge technologies and treatments available when performing breast procedures to ensure the comfort and safety of our patients. We’re proud to announce that we now have access to a valuable technological tool that will aid us in reconstructive surgery.
The Novadaq Spy Elite system allows our surgeons to anticipate potential problems intraoperatively, and also helps them to select the best tissue to use when reconstructing a breast, reducing the risk of both complications and further surgeries.
What is the Novadaq Spy Elite system?
The Novadaq Spy Elite is a fluorescent imaging system that is able to identify which areas of a patient’s tissue has adequate blood supply and can be used to reconstruct the breast. If a certain area of tissue has poor blood supply, it could decay and become infected, which may result in additional reconstructive surgery. It’s difficult to tell which tissue has good circulation just by looking at it, but the SPY system is incredibly accurate in determining this.
By providing surgeons with real-time images of the microvascular blood flow of the breast, post-surgery complications can be reduced or prevented. Allowing surgeons to identify which tissues have adequate blood flow during surgery improves overall surgical outcomes. The Spy system is also free from ionizing radiation and harmful contrast agents, unlike traditional X-ray imaging.
How does the Novadaq Spy system work?
When it’s time for a patient’s breast reconstruction, the Spy system will be brought into the operating room. The device itself has a long arm that connects to an infrared lamp device, which is used for scanning the body. A special contrast is injected into the patient’s IV line, and a TV monitor will then show scans of the breast tissue and blood vessels in real time. This monitoring of the blood flow helps surgeons decide if the patient’s tissue is in a safe enough state to move forward with surgery and place an implant. It can also be used for reconstruction that relies on the woman’s own tissue.
Using the Novadaq Spy system to improve breast reconstruction outcomes in Memphis
Use of the Spy Elite system in the operating room has been shown in clinical studies to reduce complication rates dramatically. Fewer complications mean lower reoperation levels, making the Novadaq Spy a beneficial system both clinically and economically. The Spy Elite is available only at Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women.
There is also a gain in the quality of life for our breast reconstruction patients that simply cannot have a price assigned to it.
Complications related to poor tissue circulation can have both physical and emotional repercussions, but most importantly, can delay the start of any further treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation.The SPY Elite system enables our surgeons to continue our tradition of treating every patient as an individual by giving us further insight into the unique factors of their anatomy and previous medical history. This allows the Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis to tailor each breast reconstruction in order to achieve the best possible outcome, with Spy Elite imaging enabling our surgeons to significantly reduce complications.
With the help of the progressive Novadaq Spy system, more Memphis breast reconstruction patients than ever can experience the kind of outcome that increases self-confidence in both the procedure and the results. Using the SPY Elite, Plastic Surgery Group Surgeons can now more safely offer cutting-edge breast reconstructions, such as “direct to implant”, pre-pectoral reconstructions, and nipple sparing mastectomy reconstructions. If you’re in Memphis or the surrounding area and are considering breast reconstruction surgery, you can trust the surgeons at Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis to provide only the most compassionate, effective, and professional care. To learn more about our offered reconstructive procedures, reach out to us today at 901.761.9030, or click here.