SLMHC unveils new technology
Mike Lawrence - Staff Writer
The Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) has received a new piece of equipment, and it’s expected to be a game-changer for breast cancer patients.
The new equipment, known as an Endomag system, makes the process of going through lumpectomy more streamlined, no longer requiring a multi-step process occurring over days.
In a media release issued on Oct 19, SLMHC states, “The Endomag system process starts with tiny Magseed marker, that is easily placed by the radiologist before the surgery. Ideally, it is placed at the time of biopsy so that the patient requires only one visit/procedure before surgery in order to mark the exact site of breast cancer. Once placed, it can’t be broken or dislodged in any way, and it is detectable using a Sentimag probe. The use of Magseed markers at SLMHC provides patients with a more accurate placement of a detector pre-surgically that enables a more seamless transition to their surgical care, and for a better outcome post-surgically.”
The funding for the new equipment was made possible through the support of the SLMHC Foundation, which provided $95,000 in funding. Dr. Justin Poling is a surgeon at SLMHC and just one of many who are pleased to have the new system. As Poling states, “We could be at the forefront here with this technology, as many smaller hospitals like ours experience logistical challenges for breast cancer patients. There are hundreds of hospitals like ours who I think we could be a really good example for, and this technology has potential to be game changing for Canada’s geographically-distributed population.” Poling went on to add, “It really frees us up with regards to a lot of scheduling challenges. It makes us less dependent on the time frame. Not only that, but there are so many other benefits to our patients, including a lot less travel and stress. A patient might have had to drive to Thunder Bay to get a radioactive tracker injected at the end of the day, then once injected they’d have to drive back right away since we would only have 12-18 hours to operate after that injection. In the middle of winter, driving on a dark highway at night and worrying about your surgery the next morning… this was obviously stressful for our patients.”
With trials and training completed, the technology is here and already in use for breast cancer patients at SLMHC.
Heather Lee, President and CEO of SLMHC added, “SLMHC is so thankful for the continuous support of the SLMHC Foundation, and the tireless work of volunteers and community members, who ensure crucial funding is provided for necessary equipment and upgrades at SLMHC. We’re excited to be a part of something so innovative and providing better care, closer to home.”