SAVI works much like MammoSite. It is a catheter used to guide the delivery of High Dose-Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy to the breast after a lumpectomy. Because it works from the inside, you can receive a higher daily dose of radiation and reduce your treatment time from several weeks to just five days.
After the breast tumor is removed, a small, SAVI catheter is placed inside the lumpectomy cavity through a small incision in the breast. This catheter expands like a tiny umbrella to fit snugly into the tumor cavity.
The catheter remains inflated throughout the 5-day treatment. During therapy, the portion of the SAVI catheter that remains outside your breast is connected to a computer-controlled HDR machine. This machine delivers radiation in the form of tiny pellets through the catheter at multiple depths for various lengths of time. You will receive two treatments each day, six hours apart. Once each treatment is complete, the pellets are removed through the SAVI catheter and the catheter is unplugged from the machine. You are free to return to your normal daily activities. No hospital stay is required. No radiation remains inside your breast in between treatments. After your last treatment, your SAVI catheter will be gently removed through the same incision made to place it.