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 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.