Avera Medical Minute: Savi Scout technology comes to Mitchell

Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 10:29 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Every October, there’s a renewed push for women to consider their breast health by scheduling a mammogram and performing self-breast checks.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month aims to highlight the importance of finding cancer early when it’s easiest to treat.

An area woman decided to get herself checked after a friend was recently diagnosed.

“I happened to notice I had an indentation on my left side, my left breast,” said Sister Marita Pfau. “And I thought I better go and get a mammogram. So I got a mammogram.”

That mammogram then led to a biopsy. The results brought her to Dr. Chris Vogl’s operating room.

“Unfortunately she was diagnosed with an early stage breast cancer,” said Dr. Vogl, a surgeon with Avera.

Sister Marita was fortunate in that Avera recently acquired new technology for breast cancer surgeries at their Mitchell location.

It’s called Savi Scout and is designed to help treat early-stage breast cancer patients.

It works by inserting a small device that’s about the size of a grain of rice directly into a patient’s tumor which allows surgeons to easily locate and remove that tumor.

Before this device came along, breast cancer patients undergoing a lumpectomy would have to have a needle inserted into their breast and tumor.

Surgeons say the Savi Scout is much more comfortable for patients.

“Benefits to the patients, they have less discomfort because they don’t have the needle hanging out of the breast. I think it’s a more dignified way of going about this, less awkward for them because they’re sitting in pre-op and they feel normal, nothing is showing,” said Dr. Vogl.

Dr. Vogl says having Savi Scout as an option for patients shows Avera’s commitment to advancing breast cancer treatment and to putting patients first.

“Having this is a newer technology here, it certainly is a benefit to the patient. It shows we definitely care about patient satisfaction and their experience through their treatment of breast cancer,” said Dr. Chris Vogl.

As for sister Marita, she is now cancer free and looking forward to a living healthy life, all while advocating for others to take proactive measures when it comes to their breast health.

“I would say try to do your self-exams monthly if you can and get a mammogram,” she said.