Back to home Sept. 2012
New Technology Reaches Remote Areas of the Lung
Until recently, patients who had a lesion in certain parts of the lung had few options in order for a physician to confirm a diagnosis: wait to find out if the condition changed, a needle biopsy, surgery to remove a section of the lung or a standard bronchoscopy—which is a method that requires putting a scope through the lung passages to the affected area.
"Although a standard bronchoscopy is often considered the optimal course of action, the test can be inconclusive when the lesion is located deeper within the lung," says Kathy Fairfax, director, Outpatient Surgery Center at the Sanctuary. Now, patients have another, more targeted option: the superDimension® Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy® (ENB™), which uses the patient's natural airways to access lung lesions.
ENB is a low-risk procedure with few complications, Kathy says. "It can be used with a broad group of patients, even those who may not be suitable for other diagnostic techniques due to poor lung function or other medical conditions," she says. "In particular, ENB can reduce the risk of pneumothorax that occurs with external needle biopsy or reduce the morbidity associated with surgical biopsies."
The procedure is minimally invasive and allows physicians to locate small lung lesions for diagnostic testing and potential treatment. Two-thirds of lung lesions are outside the reach of a bronchoscope and most patients diagnosed with lung cancer are not good candidates for surgery.
The ENB procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis, and lasts from 30 minutes to one hour and nearly all patients will go home the day of the procedure.
“In addition to lung cancer, the ENB helps physicians in other ways, including:
- Staging lymph nodes for diagnosis and preoperative planning
- Placing radiosurgical markers for radiation treatment
- Placing markers to guide lung procedures
- Guiding high dose radiation catheters”
"All lung diseases need a proper diagnosis, and we seek to find answers as quickly as possible," Kathy says. "Approximately 220,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year and nearly 160,000 people die from the disease each year. In addition, tobacco use accounts for 87 percent of all lung cancer deaths in the U.S. We want to find cancer early, when we have a better chance of successfully treating it."
Lung Damage: Men vs. Women
Outpatient Surgery Center
8970 Colonial Center Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33905