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Release Date: 07/31/2018

Thanks to better imaging and increased screening, many breast lumps today are detected at the earliest stages, often when lesions are small and hard to locate during surgery. Removal of these often non-palpable (cannot be found by touch alone) lesions requires the use of a localization device to help mark their location. Currently that often requires patients to arrive early on the day of surgery, check in to the pre-op area and then go to radiology to have a wire placed through the skin to the mass. The external portion of the wire is covered and the patient is transported back to the pre-op area. This can be a stressful and time-consuming process.

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is introducing a new way for physicians to mark and find breast lesions. LOCalizer™ is an FDA-cleared system that uses the latest technology to bring more precision for providers and less stress for patients. Women & Infants is the first in the region to adapt this new technology.

“The fact that we are able to detect breast lumps earlier is fantastic, but it has definitely made the removal of these significantly smaller masses more challenging,” said David Edmonson, MD, breast surgeon with the Breast Health Center at Women & Infants Hospital, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and a member of the Care New England Medical Group. “We spent more than a year trialing different devices and found the LOCalizer to offer tremendous benefit to our patients who can now have the device placed prior to the day of surgery, in a less rushed, less stressful environment.”

The LOCalizer tag can be placed in the breast up to 30 days before surgery – this takes place under local anesthesia (the area is numbed) and the tag is inserted with a needle under ultrasound or x-ray guidance. Each tag has a unique identification number to clearly mark the lesion. On the day of surgery, the surgeon then uses the LOCalizer reader to confirm the position and identification of the tag, allowing him to better plan the surgical path and remove the lesion.

Most patients experience less discomfort, less waiting and the avoidance of the hassle of having to have the mass marked on the day of surgery, when they are already anxious and concerned. There is also the benefit of not having something sticking out of the skin, which often compounds the concern that there is something in the breast that shouldn’t be there and could be a cancer.

Dr. Edmonson continued, “For the surgeon, placement ahead of time leads to better flow in the operating room and in diagnostic imaging, which also helps to alleviate stress for the patient, in what is already a stressful time. This will be a dramatic improvement for patients with suspicious breast masses, and is the latest in our efforts to provide only the best for our patients.”

Women & Infants introduced LOCalizer earlier this year and has done more than 100 procedures using this technology.

About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 9th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
Women & Infants Hospital News

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Amy Blustein
Director of Marketing
800 Butler Drive
Providence, RI 02906
P: (401) 681-2822 
F: (401) 455-6676
E: ablustein@carene.org