Device to Determine the Location of the Guidewire in Lumpectomy Excisions

An optical inspection system to assist a pathologist in determining the location of the guidewire in a surgical lumpectomy.


Problem Solved by this Technology

During image-guided surgery, a guidewire is used to label a target lesion. A surgeon uses the guidewire to determine the location of the mass and information from the mammogram to determine the size of the mass. A pathologist then must determine if the excised specimen is cancerous. If it is, the pathologist must then use the same information provided to the surgeon to determine if the entire mass has been removed. For this process to be accurate and efficient, the pathologist must know the exact location of the guidewire tip.


Using current systems, the exact location of the guidewire tip during a lumpectomy is either unknown to the pathologist or is determined only through tactical manipulation of the excised mass. Slicing of the sample to produce sections for the hundreds of slides for microscopic examination is thus sub-optimal. With knowledge of the expected boundaries of the mass, which could be estimated from the knowledge of the tip location combined with the mammogram, the sampling for microscopic examination will be optimized. Considerable error is thus introduced in the determination of whether the surgery completely removed the tumor with acceptable margins.


In current practice, breast lumpectomies do not capture the entire lump and require a second surgery in about 40% of cases. Improvement in the accuracy of the pathologist's work would have significant benefits to patient health and to the hospital's cost structure.



The proposed system uses near-IR light emitted from the guidewire tip to pinpoint its exact location. This system is fast, compact, and inexpensive.

URV Reference Number: 2-11150-11009
Patent Information:
Title Country Patent No. Issued Date
System for Identifying, Inspecting, and Examining a Radiographically Labeled Specimen United States 9,072,430 7/7/2015
For Information, Contact:
Curtis Broadbent
Licensing Manager
University of Rochester
Andrew Berger
Thomas Foster
Rebecca Wilson
James Zavislan