SPY Technology Hits Austin and Changes the Face of Breast Reconstruction

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Local area hospitals have been rapidly acquiring a new technology to assist plastic surgeons in the battle against breast cancer. Called the “SPY,” the technology allows plastic surgeons to view blood vessels in real time and helps to ensure better outcomes in breast reconstruction patients.

Local plastic surgeon Dr. Mahlon Kerr explains how the spy has been something he has used for many years but its arrival in Austin is something new. “I helped with some of the original SPY studies when I was located at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital in Utah, the imaging technology is unique in plastic surgery and can really benefit breast cancer patients by improving their reconstructive outcomes.”

After arriving in Austin several years ago Dr. Kerr started looking for ways he could bring SPY to the area. The small imaging company ended up signing a larger distribution contract and Dr. Kerr was able to bring the first SPY machine to Round Rock Medical Center last year. Since then nearly every hospital in the area where surgeons are performing breast cancer surgery has adopted the technology.

Dr. Kerr states, “SPY can really change the game in avoiding common complications in mastectomy patients and prevent increased costs from needing to return to the operating room to correct problems.” The technology is painless and takes only minutes. Plastic surgeons use a camera set to a near infrared level to actually see a special dye as it runs through blood vessels in the skin. “This allows us to know which areas of the mastectomy flaps have good versus bad blood flow and as a result take steps to remove the poorly perfused areas before they can cause a problem during recovery.”

Dr. Kerr uses this technology on every mastectomy reconstruction patient he treats, and has noticed a difference in his outcomes and patients are always thrilled to learn how technology can help them heal faster and avoid complications.

To learn more about how you can have SPY technology be a part of your breast reconstruction, call us at 512.244.1444
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Austin Plastic Surgeon