Using a new tool called an electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy (ENB), Sentara doctors can precisely locate and test hard-to-reach spots on the lungs.

New tool helps roadmap body

New Tool Helps Roadmap Body

Doctors at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center are using new tool, similar your car's GPS, to navigate the lungs of their patients.

One morning, a 72-year-old woman went into a procedure room at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. A spot on her lung, called a nodule was questionable and doctors wanted a closer look.

Using a new tool called an electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy (ENB), Sentara doctors can help diagnose and plan to treat abnormal tissue found in the lungs.

Known as lung nodules, most abnormal tissue found in the lungs is out of reach of a normal bronchoscope, a minimally invasive way of getting that closer look.

A navigation system like your car's GPS

Now, Sentara doctors like pulmonologist and critical care physician Fletcher N. Pierce, MD, use this navigation system much like your car's GPS to provide a road map to precisely locate and test hard-to-reach spots on the lungs.

After navigating her airways and collecting a sample through a catheter, Dr. Pierce waited briefly for the results. Within minutes, a pathologist in the same procedure room confirmed the diagnosis using a microscope to examine the cells. Cancer.

Using this tool, doctors at Sentara can diagnose and mark a mass to allow for precise treatment, either via surgery to remove the mass or through radiation therapy using CyberKnife ® .

Previously a patient may have had two or more procedures to determine her condition. Now, this new tool is used in fight against cancer to help doctors within the Sentara Cancer Network speed care to their patients.

Dr. Pierce placed gold dumbbell shaped markers to pinpoint the location of the mass. Once a treatment plan is decided, either surgeons or radiation oncologists will use those markets to precisely treat this cancer.

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