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Microcoils help locate small lung nodules
Date:2/2/2009

OAK BROOK, Ill. - A new technique combining computed tomography (CT) with fiber-coated surgical microcoils allows physicians to successfully locate and remove small lung nodules without the need for a more invasive procedure, according to a new study published in the February issue of Radiology.

"Small lung nodules are much more difficult to successfully locate and remove than larger nodules," said the study's lead author, John Mayo, M.D., professor of radiology and cardiology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. "Using CT guidance, we can accurately place the microcoils at the precise location of the small nodules and guide video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) removal."

A lung nodule is a relatively round lesion, or area of abnormal tissue located within the lung. Lung nodules do not typically cause pain or other symptoms and are most often detected by imaging exams. However, it is not always possible to tell from imaging tests whether a nodule is benign or cancerous.

"When a patient has a very small nodule identified, we can use the microcoil technique to definitively discover whether or not the nodule is malignant and remove the entire nodule in one procedure," Dr. Mayo said.

VATS is a minimally invasive technique in which one or more small incisions are made in the patient's chest and a small fiber optic camera and surgical instruments are inserted through the incisions. Images transmitted by the camera guide the physician through the procedure.

VATS can replace a traditional thoracotomy, a surgical procedure that uses one larger incision to gain access to the chest. VATS typically results in less pain and faster recovery time for the patient compared to open surgery.

Because small, peripheral lung nodules can be difficult to locate, physicians often have to resort to the more invasive thoracotomy procedure, removing larger amounts of lung tissue to successfully locate smal
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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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