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Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2020 - Partnering with BreastCancer.org - Merit Medical

Merit Medical is committed to reducing the burden that cancer places on patients and their loved ones. To further demonstrate this commitment, Merit is partnering with BreastCancer.org, an organization dedicated to educating and empowering people with breast cancer.

Throughout the months of September and October 2020, Merit will donate $1,000 to Breastcancer.org for each SCOUT® console sold worldwide that exceeds monthly goals. Learn more about SCOUT Radar Localization.

Like Merit, BreastCancer.org is committed to the mission of reducing the burden of breast cancer and reaches millions of people each month worldwide, providing much-needed resources and support.

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During Breast Cancer Awareness Month and every month, Merit’s promise remains the same—to consistently invest in improving technologies and innovating new platforms that meet patient and physician needs.

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Now Available in the US, Surfacer® System Provides Treatment Option for Venous Obstructions

Merit Medical® is committed to offering products that provide patients with better dialysis access options. The newest of these innovations is the Surfacer® Inside-Out® Access Catheter System, a unique device designed to obtain right-sided central venous access in patients with venous obstructions. The Surfacer System received FDA De Novo classification in the US earlier this year and has been CE marked in Europe since 2016.

The current clinical approach when treating dialysis patients with chronically occluded central veins is to use another vein if a subsequent central venous catheter is needed. Failed venous access attempts may prevent permanent arteriovenous access, increasing patient morbidity and the overall cost of care.1

Designed to gain central venous access, the Surfacer System works by inserting the device through the right femoral vein and navigating it up through the patient’s venous system with an exit point in the right internal jugular vein, the optimal location for placing a central venous catheter. Watch how the Surfacer System works.

This proprietary “Inside-Out” approach supports the achievement of permanent arteriovenous access, which reduces hemodialysis provider cost and patient downtime by decreasing catheter-related morbidity and complications.1

Additional clinical benefits of using the Surfacer System were seen in its first-in-human study.2 Results showed that 100% of patients experienced successful central venous access placement, and 100% of patients maintained central venous access patency through long-term follow up. No device-related adverse events were reported at short- or long-term follow up. To learn more about the Surfacer System’s first-in-human study, view the article published in Endovascular Today.

In May of this year, the Surfacer System’s first US-based commercial cases were completed at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California, one of several clinical sites for the US investigational device exemption (IDE) study, which led to FDA De Novo status. Ehab Sorial, MD, and Ajit Nair, MD, performed the procedures in two hemodialysis patients with central venous obstructions, one of which had limited access options.

“The Surfacer System provides us with a safe and effective option for obtaining right-sided central venous access in patients with venous obstructions, enabling us to preserve secondary central veins and avoid alternative access procedures, which are not as effective and have a higher risk of complications,” explained Drs. Sorial and Nair in a press release. Read the full press release here.

Merit currently distributes the Surfacer System in North America and Europe. With the device’s recent launch in the US, Merit is proud to play an integral role in providing physicians with life-saving technologies for their patients around the world.

Discover the Surfacer Inside-Out Access Catheter System and explore Merit’s entire portfolio of renal therapies and accessories.


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  1. Data on file at Bluegrass Vascular Technologies, Inc.
  2. Ebner, A., S. Gallo, C. Cetraro, J. Gurley, and L. Minarsch. 2013. “Inside-Out Upper Body Venous Access: The First-in-Human Experiences with a novel Approach Using the Surfacer Inside-Out Access Catheter System.” Endovascular Today. June 2013. https://evtoday.com/articles/2013-june/inside-out-upper-body-venous-access.
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How SCOUT® Impacted my Breast Cancer Journey

Faith Smith - SCOUT Patient Story - Merit Medical
Faith Smith and her daughter, Ashley

As told by Faith Smith

When my biopsy came back positive for breast cancer and I was told I needed a lumpectomy, my daughter was adamant that I seek a second opinion from a breast surgeon who would use SCOUT for localizing my tumor. She explained to me that SCOUT is a more comfortable option because I wouldn’t have a wire sticking out of my breast, and would give my surgeon more accurate localization to remove my tumor.

I always thought that the treatment for breast cancer was basically the same anywhere you went, but after I had a consultation with Lori Gentile, MD at Novant Health (Huntsville, NC) it became very apparent that was not the case.

Dr. Gentile explained exactly what would happen and how they would localize my tumor using SCOUT wire-free technology. It was a very different experience from my first consultation where the localization method would have been a wire. Learning about the wire procedure made me a bit uneasy thinking ‘How would they find my very small tumor during surgery?’, but it was a big relief to know that the SCOUT system would give real-time guidance and Dr. Gentile would know exactly where my tumor was with incredible accuracy.

The placement of the SCOUT Reflector happened several days before my surgery and it was simple and easy. I did not feel the insertion, just the mammography compression.  At first, I didn’t understand why the Reflector was inserted on a different day from surgery, but Dr. Gentile explained that it eliminates any radiology and surgery scheduling issues. I ended up really appreciating having the two procedures on separate days, since being a breast cancer patient and having so many things going on can be overwhelming — I found that breaking it down into smaller tasks helped.  When the day of my surgery arrived I was naturally anxious, but with my Reflector in place my surgery started exactly on time –— no delays.

The results of my surgery are amazing! Since I had a SCOUT Reflector, Dr. Gentile had more options in deciding where to make the surgical incision and she was able use an old scar. My breast looks exactly the same. You can’t tell where she made the incision or that I even had surgery. To some people that may seem like a small thing, but to me it is huge. Cancer rocks you to the core. “You have cancer” are such hard words to hear, and anything that keeps your world the same is monumentally important.

When I got the call that both my surgical margins and lymph nodes were clear something washed over me — a sense of calm, relief, and a readiness to face the next part of this journey. I am so thankful that throughout my journey I have felt very cared for and very blessed.

I would want other women going through this to know that breast cancer surgery is not the same everywhere. You need to research your options and look for physicians and facilities offering the newest technologies so that you can find the treatment option that is right for you.

Name: Faith Smith
Age: 60
Facility: Novant Health System, Huntsville, NC
Surgeon: Lori Gentile, MD

Please note: This information is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician regarding any medical questions or conditions.