Mega Doctor News
1st “Navigational Bronchoscopy” Procedures
HARLINGEN, TX – Dr. Ricardo Martin Schwarcz, Pulmonologist, has performed the first “navigational bronchoscopy” procedures in Cameron County, which will help Valley lung cancer patients to be diagnosed at an earlier stage, when treatment is more effective.
Dr. Schwarcz, who performed the new procedure on seven patients in the Endoscopy Lab at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, said that it could potentially save the life of cancer patients in the Valley.
“The new procedure allows for early detection of lung cancer, which can lead to curative treatments, and this is very exciting” Dr. Schwarcz added. “And it is a less-invasive procedure, which means fewer complications for the patient. This is state-of-the-art technology.”
Dr. Leslie Pean, a pulmonologist who assisted Dr. Schwarz during some of the first procedures at Valley Baptist, said the new technology helps physicians to detect small cancer lesions. “For lung cancer, the smaller the lesion, the better the prognosis. Navigational bronchoscopy helps us in marking the site, for potential follow-up surgery to remove the tumor,” Dr. Pean added.
Todd Mann, Chief Executive Officer for Valley Baptist-Harlingen, said the new procedure to better diagnose lung cancer will benefit Valley patients by allowing more of them to remain in the Valley for cancer diagnosis and treatment.
“This will allow more of these patients to stay close to their family and friends here in the Valley,” Mr. Mann added.
During bronchoscopy procedures, doctors use a thin tube with a light to look inside the lungs. With the tube and other instruments, the pulmonologist can retrieve small samples, which pathologists at Valley Baptist use to determine whether or not the patient has cancer. The new “SuperDimension” technology at Valley Baptist works like a GPS road-mapping system inside the lungs, helping physicians to move their instruments deeper within the lungs and to retrieve samples more easily.
In some cases, this new “electromagnetic navigation” system at Valley Baptist can spare the patient from having to undergo surgery. Avoiding potential complications of surgery is especially beneficial to patients who already have existing lung conditions.
Jacqueline Cavazos, RN, Charge Nurse for the Endoscopy Lab at Valley Baptist, noted that not having to go to Houston or other cities for these procedures will save time and money for Valley patients – and having their family support system on hand can lead to better outcomes for the patient in many cases.
“I think it’s amazing that we’re able to offer our community this technology so we can better and more effectively assess their condition and get them the treatment plan they need,” Ms. Cavazos said. “Our doctors – the pulmonary doctors who are doing these procedures – are exceptional in their field, and very caring with their patients. They want to do what’s best for all of their patients, and together we can make a difference for the patients in the Valley who need these procedures.”