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Expanded SUNY Upstate Breast Care Center opens filled with patient amenities

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Soothing sounds of wall-mounted waterfalls, deep-cushioned waiting room chairs, warmed dressing gowns and color-coordinated exam rooms are just some of the enhanced patient amenities featured at SUNY Upstate's new Breast Care and Endocrine Surgery Center, now located on the first floor of University Health Care Center (UHCC) at 90 Presidential Plaza, Syracuse.

The $179,000 redesign and relocation of the Breast Care and Endocrine Surgery Center has expanded its presence in every way: from 4,715 square feet to 7,395 square feet, and from five exam rooms to nine.

The relocation from the fifth floor of UHCC was the perfect opportunity to upgrade the comforts and service for patients.

"We developed this design with patients and their families in mind, by understanding the anxiety many patients have when arriving for a doctor's appointment, and attempted to create a comfortable and caring environment for the practice of medicine," said Jane Dantoni, a nurse practitioner who manages the Breast Care and Endocrine Surgery Center.

One small, but noticeable, patient enhancement is the new exam tables with a larger step that supports patients and gives them easier access to the exam table. This simple addition decreases the chance of patients falling.

"It used to be like walking a tightrope to navigate the step, especially for older patients with arthritis and other disabilities," Dantoni said. "Actually, for patients of all ages, this simple element has proved worthwhile and the patients have commented favorably on this improvement."

Also key in the redesign was input from nurses and physicians, Dantoni said.

The Breast Care and Endocrine Surgery Center treats more than 5,600 patients annually and that number is expected to rise in the coming year. The addition of a new surgeon and radiologist along with the increase in exam rooms places the center in a good position to accept new patients. "We see patients from throughout a 15-county region and as a comprehensive breast care center our services are in great demand, so our relocation and expansion will help meet patients needs from all across Central New York," Dantoni said.

The relocation also includes a comfortable library and resource center for patients seeking information about breast cancer, benign breast disease, treatmets, diagnosis and support for total patient care. The library, supported by a grant from the Susan Komen Foundation, is outfitted with dozens of books, DVD player and a computer with Internet access. A special exam room for nursing mothers participating in the center's clinical trials on breastfeeding is decorated with a plush recliner and standing lamp.

The center provides a wide array of services and procedures, including fine needle aspiration of breast lumps and thyroid nodules, excisional breast biopsies, ultrasound for breasts and thyroids, mammosite insertion, as well as ultrasound core biopsies for suspected cancer cases.

Imaging services conveniently located on the first floor of UHCC adjacent to the center, overseen by a radiologist specializing in women's imaging, include digital mammogram, ultrasound, stereotactic core-biopsy, ultrasound core biopsy, needle localization and ductograms.

The center opened in its new location in November.