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St. Joseph Offers Minimally Invasive Test For Early Diagnosis Of Lung Cancer

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Pontiac’s St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is among the first hospitals in Michigan to offer a new procedure called Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy that gives patients a minimally invasive option to locate, enable biopsy and plan treatment for a lesion detected deep in the lung.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among men and women. ENB is among the many new diagnostic and minimally invasive ways to detect and treat lung cancer in earlier stages, when the chances of a cure are greater.

ENB enables a physician to diagnose and treat lung tumors in outer areas of the lung that are not accessible with traditional bronchoscopy, says M. Salik A. Jahania, M.D., an SJMO cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon who performed the procedure on Feb. 16.

SJMO is among the few hospitals in the state to offer this new high-tech outpatient procedure using the I-Logic machine, which greatly expands the depth of SJMO’s lung cancer program.

“ENB uses Global Positioning System-like technology to help navigate special catheters through a patient’s airway to a suspicious lesion deep in the lungs,”  Jahania said. “The system virtually guides the physician in steering the catheter through complex airways beyond the reach and sight of the traditional bronchoscope.” 

Added Ingida Asfaw, M.D., chief of staff-elect: “Prior to ENB, when lung cancer was suspected but couldn’t be seen with the bronchoscope, the only choices for diagnosis were watchful waiting — allowing the tumor to grow large enough to be viewed with the bronchoscope — invasive and risky needle biopsies or major surgery to remove a section of the lung.”

Advantages of using ENB include quicker diagnosis and treatment, little or no pain, no overnight stay, less cost and a lower risk of complications.  For example, the chance of a collapsed lung with traditional needle biopsy is 20 to 30 percent, while it is just 2 percent using ENB. 

Said SJMO president and CEO Jack Weiner: “This breakthrough in medical technology provides us with an opportunity to offer patients more treatment options.”

Other new diagnostic and ultraminimally invasive advances include ultrasound-guided bronchoscopy and biopsy, argon treatment of obstructing tumors of the aerodigestive tract, stents and robotic lung surgery using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System.

“These new procedures can minimize pain and shorten hospital stay, allowing earlier return to normal life and improved quality of life for inoperable patients,”  Jahania said.

St Joseph Mercy Oakland is a 443-bed comprehensive, community, teaching hospital and a long-time leader in health care in Oakland County. St. Joseph Mercy Health System spans six counties. Along with the Pontiac hospital, it includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy in Livonia, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, 119-bed St. Joseph Mercy in Port Huron, 113-bed Chelsea Community Hospital and 74-bed St. Joseph Mercy Saline. It is part of Trinity Health, the nation’s fourth largest Catholic health care organization.

More at www.stjoesoakland.org

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