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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

SPY Elite

SPY Elite, a fluorescent imaging system, may be used by surgeons to help determine whether certain tissues in the body have a strong enough blood supply for transplant purposes. For example, fat-grafting or tissue-transfer procedures performed as part of breast reconstruction use the patient’s own cells to rebuild the breast. Analyzing the blood circulation of tissues throughout the body may help our surgeons identify healthy donor tissue that may be harvested for such purposes, or compare the viability of various donor sites they are considering.

The SPY Elite system is used in the operating room during reconstructive surgery. Dye is injected into the bloodstream, illuminating tissue with a healthy blood supply, which shows up on bright colors on a computer monitor. Tissue with poor circulation shows up dark. Similar to an aerial view of river systems, the SPY Elite images are used to help guide surgeons to more vibrant tissue that may have a better likelihood of surviving in a new environment. The goal is to avoid harvesting tissue with poor circulation, which may decay or become infected, potentially leading to additional surgeries, post-operative complications and increased health care costs.

In addition to breast reconstructive surgery, SPY Elite is used in surgeries to repair other areas of the body, such as blockages in the coronary arteries.