Special surgeons and technology work together to treat breast cancer at Inspira Medical Centers
“A special kind of surgeon is needed to meet the emotional needs of the breast cancer patient, as well as a desire to master the technical skills required to perform the highest quality surgery,” notes The American Society of Breast Surgeons in its statement "What is a Breast Surgeon?" Nandini Kulkarni, MD, FACS, medical director of Surgical Oncology for Inspira Health and fellowship-trained in surgical oncology, matches that definition.
With over 12 years of surgical training and nearly 20 years’ experience as a medical professional with over 2,000 surgeries performed. She combines her passion for learning and research with genuine regard for improving the lives and experience of patients suffering from cancer.
Kulkarni completed her surgical residency at Abington – Jefferson Health, followed by her fellowship in complex surgical oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. She is double board certified in general surgery as well as complex general surgical oncology.
As an active member in several organizations, including the Society of Surgical Oncology, Association of Academic Surgeons, American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Medical Association, Kulkarni has authored numerous research articles and national presentations, as well as a chapter on melanoma in the medical book, Surgical Oncology Clinics of North America.
Savi Scout technology
Kulkarni uses her expertise with cutting edge technology such as the Savi Scout to improve outcomes and enrich the patient’s experience in the management of breast cancer.
With pinpoint accuracy and more comfort, an advanced diagnostic tool is making life a little easier for Inspira Health patients who must undergo breast surgery. Roughly the size of a grain of rice, Savi Scout technology precisely guides surgeons to the location of a lesion, while also providing a more comfortable and convenient experience for patients.
Previously, patients with an abnormal mammogram who had to undergo breast surgery would have a wire inserted into the lesion on the same day as the procedure. This wire guided the surgeon to the location of the lesion to be removed.
“The scout is not only a more precise way of localization, it also takes away the need for the patient to be transported between the radiology and operating room suites with a cumbersome wire sticking out of her breast,” said Kulkarni. “There is no fear of the wire getting dislodged during the transport or as we take the dressing down. Also, it does not limit us to performing the localization on the day of the surgery, which increases convenience for the patient.”
The Savi Scout is used to help pinpoint lesions in the breast. Instead of wires, a small reflector, the size of a grain of rice, is placed into the breast prior to the day of surgery.
After placement, there is a chance that the localization wire will dislodge or move inside the breast. If the wire moves prior to surgery, the surgeon may need to remove even more tissue, which may result in a less-than-desired cosmetic outcome for the patient.
With Savi Scout, patients have the tiny device inserted days or weeks prior to the surgery. On the day of surgery, the surgeon uses a hand-held instrument to locate the Scout, allowing them to precisely locate the tumor. This reduces surgical time, lessens patient anxiety and improves the success rate.
The Savi Scout technology is available at both Inspira Medical Centers Vineland and Woodbury.
Surgical oncology expertise for many types of cancer
In addition to her breast surgery expertise, Kulkarni specializes in oncological surgery for liver and pancreatic cancer, gastric and colorectal cancer, as well as comprehensive management of sarcoma, melanoma (and other) skin cancers.
Patients may call 1-800-640-8989 to see Dr. Kulkarni at one of these three office locations:
155 Bridgeton Pike, Suite C, Mullica Hill
1505 W. Sherman Avenue, Suite B, Vineland
1601 Tilton Road, Suite 4, Northfield