Northwell expands technology that precisely targets breast tumors

10/31/2017    |     Betty Olt

NEW HYDE PARK, NY — Northwell Health announced today that it will offer state-of-the-art breast procedures for women undergoing a surgical breast biopsy or lumpectomy at 16 hospitals, surgical locations and outpatient radiology facilities on Long Island.

The medical technology, called SAVI SCOUT, is a localization and surgical guidance system. Northwell’s expansion of the program was made possible by $220,000 in funds raised, in part, by the Katz Institute for Women’s Health 25th Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show.

Breast surgeons and radiologists at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute were the first on Long Island to introduce the new system to patients in July 2016. The technology, cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration, allows physicians to insert a tiny device, or reflector , into the breast to target diseased tissue in advance of the surgery. The result cuts time off the procedure, ensures a more exacting result and leaves patients resting easier. With the latest purchases, Northwell will have more SCOUT devices in use than any other health system in the country.

“Over the last year and a half, our program using the SCOUT technology has been incredibly successful and the health system has made wire-free, radar localization our new standard of care for breast tumor localization,” said Nina Vincoff, MD, chief of breast imaging at Northwell Health. “Our patients have indicated high satisfaction with both the experience of the procedure itself, and the convenience of having it performed at one of our outpatient centers prior to the day of surgery.”

Previously, women needed to arrive several hours before their operation to have physicians thread a wire into their breast (known as wire localization), and then wait. SAVI SCOUT® eliminates this waiting time and the discomfort of the wire. The system uses sound and visual indicators to precisely locate the SCOUT reflector.

“Breast cancer surgery or biopsy can be physically and emotionally distressing for women,” said Karen Kostroff, MD, chief of breast surgery at Northwell Health. “We continually strive to offer the latest technology and improve our patients’ comfort and overall experience. The SCOUT resolves one of the most difficult aspects of breast conservation surgery by eliminating the need to place a wire inside the breast tissue to locate a tumor. ”

The device uses non-radioactive, micro impulse radar technology to provide real-time surgical guidance during breast surgery. Placed up to 30 days before surgery by a radiologist, tiny reflector is inserted into the breast. During surgery, the system’s hand piece accurately detects the location of the reflector – and the tumor. The ability to strategically plan the incision may result in less tissue removed during surgery, leading to better cosmetic outcomes.

“The radar localization has already been adopted by the majority of our breast surgeons and the number of surgeons doing the SCOUT procedure continues to grow,” Dr. Kostroff noted.

With Northwell Health’s integrated network of digital imaging, surgeons can remotely access patient’s breast images at locations equipped with the SCOUT technology, adding to clinical efficiency and enhancing patient convenience.

In addition to existing surgical programs at Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center, Lenox Hill and Huntington Hospitals, the recent philanthropic gift supports expansion to now include Southside and Glen Cove Hospitals, as well as North Shore University Hospital and LIJ’s Ambulatory Surgery Centers.

Northwell radiology sites currently using SAVI SCOUT include: Lenox Hill Hospital, The Center for Advanced Medicine in Lake Success and The Reichert Family Imaging Center in Huntington. Thanks to fundraising, the service will now also be offered at a total of eight radiology sites with the additions of The Bohlsen Women’s Imaging Center in Islip, Glen Cove, Garden City, Syosset and Smithtown.

“Thanks to generous donations, we will be able to vastly expand our program,” said Dr. Vincoff. “Patients will be able to have their pre-operative localization performed at the time and imaging site that is most convenient for them, and will be able to have their surgery using this new technology at multiple hospitals.”

For more information, contact Northwell Health Imaging at 855-377-3456. To receive a surgeon referral, call Northwell’s Patient Access Center at 855-463-0761.



About Northwell Health

Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals, over 550 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. We are a nonprofit organization that cares for more than two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 62,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and 3,900 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit

About SCOUT®

About SCOUT® The FDA-cleared SCOUT system features a proprietary, highly sophisticated reflector that is precisely placed at the tumor site days before a lumpectomy or surgical biopsy. During the procedure, the surgeon scans the breast using the SCOUT guide which emits 50 million pulses per second, allowing the surgeon to “lock” in on the reflector’s precise location with ± 1mm of accuracy. This higher level of localization precision allows better surgical planning that may improve cosmetic results, as less tissue may need to be removed. SCOUT has an exceptional detection range of 1mm – 60mm, documented migration of <2% across multiple studies, and is OR compatible.[1] Cox CE, Russell S, Prowler V, et al. A Prospective, Single Arm, Multi-site, Clinical Evaluation of a Nonradioactive Surgical Guidance Technology for the Location of Nonpalpable Breast Lesions during Excision. Ann Surg Oncol. 2016;23(10):3168-74. SCOUT has received significant recognition from medical societies and industry associations including, most recently, being honored as a Gold winner at the 2017 Medical Design Excellence Awards.