Newswise — (Baltimore, MD) -- The Hoffberger Breast Center at Mercy Medical Center now offers patient a new device designed to make screening for lymphedema-- a common side-effect following breast cancer surgery -- quick and easy.

The new technology, ImpediMed’s SOZO, is a bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) device; BIS involves sending a painless electrical current, typically at one or more frequencies, through the body.

“By measuring the body’s resistance and reaction to the electrical current, we get important information about the patient’s body fluid composition and tissue – it’s all about detecting lymphedema earlier, to proactively manage and prevent breast cancer related lymphedema (BCRL). It’s a minimally invasive approach that’s fast, accurate, and essentially painless for the patient,” said Dr. Neil B. Friedman, Director of The Hoffberger Breast Center.

To screen for lymphedema with SOZO, patients stand barefoot on the device that looks like a scale. Screening is done in minutes, and results are downloaded to a tablet and made part of the patient’s medical record.

“In the case of breast cancer patients, lymphedema may occur when lymph nodes are removed or damaged during cancer surgery or radiation. It is due to a blockage of the lymphatic system, causing lymph fluid to drain poorly, leading to fluid buildup and swelling. This condition can be uncomfortable, painful, and if treatment is delayed, can become permanent. Therefore, anything that can help us detect this issue early is going to be of great benefit,” Dr. Friedman said.

Founded and headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, ImpediMed is a global company with operations in the United States and Europe. ImpediMed is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacture of medical devices employing bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) technologies for use in the noninvasive clinical assessment and monitoring of fluid status and tissue composition.

The Hoffberger Breast Center at Mercy in Baltimore is a renowned, nationally accredited breast center with award-winning programs and doctors. The Breast Center’s comprehensive care is thoughtfully designed for women undergoing the journey to overcome breast disease.

Founded in 1874 by The Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated Catholic hospital with a national reputation for women's health. Mercy is home to the acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women's Health & Medicine -- now celebrating its 25th anniversary -- and the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information about Mercy, visit http://www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on FACEBOOK and TWITTER, or call 1-800-M.D.-Mercy.