Surgical Clinic of Central Arkansas
May 16, 2006
The Surgical Clinic of Central Arkansas, located at the Hickingbotham Outpatient Center at Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock, has opened the “ContourMed Clinic” within its medical offices. This is the first physician group in the US to offer ContourMed’s laser scanning technology to mastectomy patients at the point of medical care.
Physicians with the Surgical Clinic of Central Arkansas say that the concept helps them achieve their goal of offering mastectomy patients both options in one place – breast reconstruction or the latest technology in breast prostheses.
“Having the ContourMed technology housed here in our office makes sense for so many reasons,” said Surgical Clinic Breast Surgeon Jim Hagans, M.D. “Women we treat have just experienced the horrors of a cancer diagnosis. So when we see patients, they are often very unsure about the decisions they will make following mastectomy.”
Prior to the patient’s mastectomy, a laser scan of the breast and/or breasts that will be removed are scanned using ContourMed 3-D imaging technology.
Developed at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, ContourMed’s medical roots run deep. According to ContourMed President Mimi San Pedro, this partnership is a direct result of the company’s close alignment with the medical community.
The first company to emerge from the UAMS BioVentures incubator program, ContourMed is the only breast prosthesis company in the nation that manufactures custom-fitted breast forms using 3-D laser scanning technology. “There aren’t many others who do custom forms for mastectomy patients and they use a dated plaster casting technique that can be messy, inaccurate and time-consuming for the patient,” said San Pedro.
“The scanning technology captures the exact shape, slope and contour of the intact breast to achieve the natural look, feel and movement of an actual breast,” said Mimi San Pedro, ContourMed president and breast cancer survivor. “Because women are custom fitted, the back of the prosthesis is crafted to reflect every unique detail of the chest wall and women are able to wear their bra of choice.”
Surgical Clinic Plastic Surgeon Kris Shewmake, M.D., said, “Every woman’s breast anatomy is unique, that’s why the detail provided by ContourMed’s imaging technology makes sense for our practice.”
While breast reconstruction is a viable option for many women following mastectomy, some women are either medically not candidates or simply choose to forgo breast reconstruction for personal reasons.
“If a patient chooses not to have reconstruction, she now has access to the most advanced technology available at the point of care, which is a new concept for breast care physicians,” said Hagans.
Previously, women who chose not to have reconstruction dealt with prosthesis fitting after they went through the recovery process.
“This enables us to provide full-service medical options at an early point in the recovery process,” Hagans added.
According to San Pedro, in addition to the company’s medical foundation, the advanced laser scanning and imaging technologies were key factors in the development of this partnership.
“Physicians are seeing the importance of offering medical breakthroughs like ContourMed to patients at an early point in the treatment process,” said San Pedro. “This additional point of contact with newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients is a significant step in increasing the number of women we serve.”
Established in July 2001, ContourMed, Inc. is a medical technology manufacturer that produces external prosthetic breast products handcrafted by specialized technicians in the U.S. It is the sole and exclusive beneficiary to the license(s) of intellectual property developed at the Arkansas Cancer Research Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. ContourMed was named one of the winners of the sixth annual Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) competition, the only global awards program devoted to recognizing contributions and advancements in medical devices.