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Altru Incorporates EnVisio Surgical Navigation System and SmartClip Technology for State-of-the-Art Breast Cancer Treatment

Posted OnJuly 09, 2024

Innovative SMART Tumor Marker System Improves Care Pathway Delivering a Better Clinical and Cosmetic Outcome When Facing Breast Cancer Surgery  

Grand Forks, N.D. – Grand Forks, N.D. – Altru is excited to announce the adoption of Elucent Medical’s EnVisio® Navigation System and SmartClip® technology, a groundbreaking soft-tissue tumor marker system that reduces pain and increases accuracy during breast cancer surgery. The new technology represents a significant improvement for women undergoing lumpectomies, a surgery that removes cancerous tumors and small margin of some breast tissue, improving both clinical and cosmetic outcomes by replacing the typically used, but painful and non-precise, hook-wire localization procedures from the 1970s. 

“With approximately one-in-eight women in the U.S. expected to develop breast cancer over her lifetime, it’s vital that we continue to innovate and push the standard of care for our expanding patient population,” said Dr. Stefan Johnson, a surgeon at Altru. “The adoption of the EnVisio System technology allows us to replace an older technology, including a painful hook-wire placement, with a more sophisticated technology that precisely pinpoints the distance, depth and direction of the cancer tissue location relative to the SmartClip. This technology enables our surgeons to locate and remove tumors in breast cancer patients through a minimally invasive procedure."  

This advanced technology allows physicians to implant the wireless SmartClip Soft Tissue Markers at the time of breast biopsy, or any time prior to surgery. Navigation is quickly becoming an integral part of the surgical routine of clinicians. Surgical navigation is already the standard of care in Neurosurgery, ENT and Orthopedics, and will now be possible for breast cancer patients, as well. The EnVisio System enables breast surgeons to answer the question: How do I reach my target safely without disrupting healthy tissue? Surgeons use the 3D indications to accurately pinpoint and precisely mark the location of cancerous tissue that needs to be removed. The Envisio System enhances surgical tools by seamlessly integrating with existing instruments guiding the surgeon during the procedure with real-time 3D navigation, this technology locates and highlights malignant tissue seen on standard Imaging. Elucent partnered with renowned breast surgeon Dr. Lee Wilke to develop the Technology.  

“Millions of women undergo breast cancer treatment, including the pain and stress of traditional hook-wire placement procedures,” said Dr. Wilke. “The SmartClip placed either at the time of biopsy or prior to surgery reduces physical discomfort for women undergoing breast cancer treatment while also offering the most precise tissue navigation needed to deliver a clear pathway from diagnosis through surgery.”  

Dr. Johnson added, “Altru is extremely proud to bring in this state-of-the-art technology to serve our patients facing breast cancer. Providing the best patient outcomes is important to us, and by using the EnVisio system we’re elevating our facility to the leading-edge of breast cancer care.”  

The SmartClip is incredibly small, measuring about the size of a grain of rice (about 1.4 mm x 8 mm). It emits a differentiated signature to provide true real-time stereotactic 3D coordinates. More than one SmartClip may be inserted, allowing surgeons to track and locate everything from simple to more complex and widespread cases. SmartClips are FDA-cleared and safe to remain permanently inside patients if it’s determined that surgery is not needed.  

The SmartClip is used in conjunction with the EnVisio system, which delivers real-time guidance processing over 250 data streams continuously and simultaneously. The signature communicates depth, distance and direction, which helps surgeons locate tumors with minimal invasion and excise targeted tissue for increased successful recovery.  

The EnVisio System and SmartClip Tissue Markers are manufactured by Elucent Medical Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minn. 


About Elucent Medical  

Based in Eden Prairie, Minn., Elucent Medical was established in 2014. Elucent Medical is a leading innovator in the field of oncologic surgical treatment solutions, dedicated to improving patient outcomes through precision and efficacy. The company's flagship technologies, EnVisio® and SmartClip, offer groundbreaking solutions for Intelligent Spatial Guidance (iSG). With a commitment to innovation and collaboration, Elucent Medical is driving advancements in surgical oncologic care worldwide. For more information about Elucent Medical and its innovative solutions, learn more at