WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Losing a breast is devastating for most women. It's one of the most difficult parts of getting a breast cancer diagnosis. While breast augmentation is usually an option, it can lead to complications.
New technology called Spy Elite at New Hanover Regional Medical Center is decreasing the chance of complications significantly.
"This machine has shown the complication rates have gone from 30 percent in clinical judgment alone--down to five percent," said Dr. Chuck Kays, a Wilmington plastic surgeon.
Spy Elite gives the surgeon a clear view of blood flow in the area where the breast has been removed. Good blood flow is essential in order for the incision to heal properly.
"The dye enters the blood stream and the surgeon can see in real time the blood flow as it passes under the camera," explained Jeri Havens, a Spy Elite representative.
Spy Elite also helps doctors determine if they can save a woman's nipple, something some physicians are trying to do more often during mastectomies.
"So incisions for those surgical procedures are made down in the bottom of the breast, the tissue is removed and the nipple is left," Kays explained.
The equipment costs around $250,000, according to Kays who added the technology should also help in other medical procedures such as orthopedic surgeries.