ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – Interview with Dr. Orlando Cicilioni, Plastic Surgeon:

Each year, more than 80,000 breast reconstruction surgeries are performed in the U.S., a large number of which are performed immediately after a mastectomy. Florida Hospital is now the first in Central Florida to offer a new technology that improves the outcomes of breast reconstruction surgery by helping to detect tissue viability in skin sparring mastectomy for optimal reconstruction.

The SPY® Elite System is used at only a handful of breast centers in the country, and its purpose is to help reduce the incidence of healing complications after surgery

To even the trained eye, the skin tissue left after breast tissue has been removed often looks healthy and viable. While mastectomies are a generally a safe and successful surgery, occasionally skin necrosis, a decaying of the skin, occurs a few days later and the patient has to undergo another procedure.

Patients who may be most at risk for healing complications after surgery tend to be those who suffer from diabetes mellitus, having a history of smoking, or history of previous breast surgery. The new technology helps physicians to avoid these complications by using a laser to visualize a fluorescent image of the blood flow in the breast skin after mastectomy surgery, as well in tissues being transplanted as part of the breast reconstruction procedure.

To see the tissue, a green dye is injected into the blood stream and a laser causes the dye to fluoresce, then a special imaging camera produces and records an image of where the dye is pulsing through the skin. Areas of skin that do not light up are marked and then removed before beginning reconstruction.

“The technology significantly improves the surgical outcome of an especially physically and emotionally trying procedure for women,” said Dr. Orlando Cicilioni, plastic surgeon with the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Program. “With the SPY® technology we are able to see what is going on inside of the breast skin and tissues we are transplanting in order to be more certain of proper healing. Florida Hospital may be one of the first centers to have the SPY®, but one day it may be the new standard of care.”

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