Date: 8/11/2011

New Technology saves Time, Reduces Stress for Breast Cancer Biopsy Patients

Surgeons, radiologists and pathologists on staff at Community Hospital are continuously working to change the breast cancer care experience. The less wait time for patients the better. First to introduce same-day biopsy results, the healthcare team is now using new technology that provides instant feedback to surgeons in the OR, reducing the time of the procedure as well as some of the anxiety that goes along with it.

The state-of-the art piece of diagnostic equipment called BioVision, is one of only a handful of its kind in the state of Indiana.

“We are pleased to lead the way with the only one in Northwest Indiana,” said Terrence Dempsey, M.D., general surgeon and Community Hospital Surgery department chair. “It’s changing the way that we diagnose very early breast cancer.”

BioVision digital specimen radiography system elevates the standard of care provided to patients undergoing surgical excision of tumors. According to Surgeon M. Nabil Shabeeb, M.D., FACS, accurate specimen images can be produced within seconds, with increased efficiency, reducing surgery procedure times.

“We are able to improve the accuracy of diagnosing breast cancer while offering our patients a higher quality service with decreased apprehension, and a vastly improved patient experience,” Shabeeb said.

Before BioVision technology, the surgeon would remove tumor tissue, wait for the specimen to be taken to Radiology by courier; wait for the radiologist’s reading; wait for a courier to take the specimen to Pathology; then wait for a frozen section to be reviewed under the microscope for diagnosis.

“Looking at the specimen in real-time saves at least 45 to 60 minutes,” said David Robinson, M.D., plastic surgeon. “We can confirm whether we’ve got all the affected tissue with one touch operation and magnify any significant areas of the tumor.”

Previously, surgeons would take specimens, estimating the amount as enough to confirm a diagnosis, but would sometimes have to call patients back for further tissue samples.

“With this equipment, we’ll eliminate the need to do that,” Robinson said.

BioVision allows surgeons to instantly image specimens while the patient remains in the OR so that further specimens can be taken without delay. Surgeons can also determine that adequate tissue has been taken while the patient is still under anesthesia.

Along with improved accuracy and almost instant results, the machine also produces a digital image to attach to patient’s files, versus the standard x-ray films.

“With each advance, we are one step closer to a future without breast cancer,” said Shabeeb.

For more information about the cutting-edge technology and minimally invasive procedures offered by Community Hospital in Munster, visit