Mercy's Hoffberger Breast Center Features New Technology for Early Detection of Lymphedema
The Hoffberger Breast Center at Mercy Medical Center now offers patient a new device designed to make screening for lymphedema-- a common side-effect following breast cancer surgery -- quick and easy.
The new technology, ImpediMed’s SOZO, is a bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) device; BIS involves sending a painless electrical current, typically at one or more frequencies, through the body.
“By measuring the body’s resistance and reaction to the electrical current, we get important information about the patient’s body fluid composition and tissue – it’s all about detecting lymphedema earlier, to proactively manage and prevent breast cancer related lymphedema (BCRL). It’s a minimally invasive approach that’s fast, accurate, and essentially painless for the patient,” said Dr. Neil B. Friedman, Director of The Hoffberger Breast Center.
To screen for lymphedema with SOZO, patients stand barefoot on the device that looks like a scale. Screening is done in minutes, and results are downloaded to a tablet and made part of the patient’s medical record.
“In the case of breast cancer patients, lymphedema may occur when lymph nodes are removed or damaged during cancer surgery or radiation. It is due to a blockage of the lymphatic system, causing lymph fluid to drain poorly, leading to fluid buildup and swelling. This condition can be uncomfortable, painful, and if treatment is delayed, can become permanent. Therefore, anything that can help us detect this issue early is going to be of great benefit,” Dr. Friedman said.
Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at www.mdmercy.com, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.