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Published on September 10, 2015

New device makes surgery safer for breast cancer patients

By Brittany Jones, Action News Jax

The St. Vincent's Hospital fluobeam device is making life easier for breast cancer patients like Pam Cowell.

"I was able to get back to actual life probably in about four weeks," said Cowell, who was was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

"We define ourselves, women do by our breasts and having them removed altering us just does terrible things to you," said Cowell.

But, in March she went to Dr. Michael Fallucco for reconstructive surgery.  Cowell said the new device in the operating room put her at ease.

"It's  like having an extra set of eyes in the operating room where we can make real time decisions that are going to improve outcomes, less complications cut down on future surgery they may require," said Fallucco.

Fallucco said the infrared camera is used during breast reconstructive and implant surgeries for women with breast cancer.

The device helps detect healthy tissues and blood supply in the body.

"We would shine it over a patient. They would be given a medication that enters the blood flow and shows us where the blood supply is," said Fallucco.

Cowell said it changed her life and she's forever grateful for a successful surgery.

"Now there's hope. Women do not have to fear cancer, they don't have to fear the surgery and it's wonderful to know that you are going to wake up with breasts," said Cowell.

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