Philanthropic dollars enabled the purchase of high-definition imaging systems for UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies and UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital. This specimen-radiography equipment is used in breast cancer surgeries, enabling surgically excised specimens to be imaged in the operating room rather than taking them to the breast diagnostic center.

Erica Cooper, team lead for operating room radiology at MCR, said the surgical teams are grateful for the equipment and for the time it saves.

“The ability to know immediately if margins are clean reduces the time a patient is under anesthesia,” Cooper said. “If the specimen doesn’t have clean margins, everyone is right there in the OR, and we can do another specimen and image immediately. The imaging system saves, on average 20-plus minutes per surgery.”

Kevin Buck, team lead for operating room radiology at PVH, said, “At PVH the new equipment has enabled us to completely reconfigure our workflows to streamline the specimen-imaging process. Before, we would spend up to 30 minutes imaging the specimens with a mammography machine that was located outside of the OR in another department. The image quality is also vastly superior to anything we had been using before.”

PVH received its new unit last July, Buck said. “Since then, we have used the machine 40 times, and we have noticed an increase in usage volumes as surgeons have been made more aware of its capabilities and benefits. For the half of the year we had the unit in 2022, we averaged three cases per month where the unit was used. So far in 2023 we have averaged seven cases per month.”

Part of the foundation’s mission is to help deliver advanced health care. Thanks to donor generosity, MCR and PVH breast-surgery patients are benefiting from a next-generation radiography solution.