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Laparoscopic Ultrasound 

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An Advantage for Finding and Staging Cancers

Laparoscopic Ultrasound

Laparoscopic ultrasound is being used in combination with other minimally invasive surgeries to assist surgeons in intraoperatively identifying cancers that may go undetected by other diagnostic methods.

Technological advances in laparoscopic ultrasound equipment have improved the accuracy and the ability to visualize internal organs. During a minimally invasive procedure, surrounding organs can be “examined” by the laparoscopic ultrasound probe to check for undetected tumors or stage existing cancers. The result is a more precise treatment plan for the patient.

Surgeons regularly use minimally invasive surgical procedures when performing a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) or a colectomy (surgical removal of all or part of the colon). During the surgery, the laparoscopic ultrasound probe can be used to scan the liver to see if the cancer has spread (metastasized).

The ability of the probes to “look” in multiple directions allows for additional areas of the body to be examined during a minimally invasive surgery. Laparoscopic ultrasound has been shown to be more sensitive than cholangiogram and to lower the risk of common bile duct injury during laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

If a liver tumor is identified, laparoscopic ultrasound can then be used to guide the biopsy as well as to deliver radiofrequency ablation treatment. As with other minimally invasive surgeries, the patient has significantly smaller surgical scarring, a quicker
recovery and a reduced hospital stay. With the help of laparoscopic ultrasound, surgeons can intraoperatively evaluate liver, colon, rectal and other gastrointestinal cancers and deliver treatments such as radiofrequency ablation.

Laparoscopic ultrasound is finding up to 30 percent more liver lesions than just CT alone. The earlier a health issue is identified, the sooner treatment can begin.

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