Lung Nodule Treatment
Contact us online to request a consultation about lung nodule treatment and diagnosis or call us at NWH Thoracic Services at 914.666.1766.
What is a Lung Nodule?
A lung nodule, commonly called a “spot” or “shadow” on the lung, is any lesion within the lung less than two centimeters. Most small spots on the lung turn out not to be cancer and could be an infection or scar tissue from a previous infection. Causes of lung nodules can be:
- Benign lung tumors
Sometimes a lung nodule can be an early stage lung cancer, either starting in the lung (primary lung cancer) or spread to the lung from cancer elsewhere on the body. This is referred to as metastatic lung cancer.
For people with high risk of lung cancer, a low dose CT scan (LDCT) is highly recommended. This lung cancer screening can detect lung cancer before symptoms have begun—when the cancer is at a most treatable stage.
Take this quick lung cancer risk assessment to see if you should have a LDCT.
Diagnosing, Staging and Treating Lung Nodules
Accurate diagnosis of a lung nodule is critical to ensuring that a potential lung cancer diagnosis is treated as early as possible. Your doctor will need to take a lung scan and may need to perform a lung biopsy in order to make an accurate diagnosis of your lung nodule. Northern Westchester Hospital uses state-of-the art technology to diagnose and follow lung nodules and benign lung tumors.
- 64-slice high-speed PET/CT scans — the fastest, most sophisticated technology available for producing detailed, three-dimensional images of the lung. The 64-slice scan provides excellent visualization for depicting early stages of lung cancer. And the high speed capability means our patients are off the scan quickly.
- A lung needle biopsy with navigational bronchoscopy — an advanced procedure performed in the OR to take a tissue sample of the lung in order to diagnose lung nodules and monitor benign lung tumors. The bronchoscopy at Northern Westchester Hospital uses a GPS to precisely locate and guide the bronchoscope through the smaller airways of the lungs to diagnose lung disease or tumors.
How does the doctor get the lung biopsy?
At Northern Westchester Hospital, we use the superDimension™ navigation system to perform Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy™ (ENB™) procedures. The navigation bronchoscopy can access more remote regions of the lung, aiding in early diagnosis. Early detection of lung cancer can mean you have more lung cancer treatment options and a better outcome.
How does an ENB™ procedure differ from traditional bronchoscopy?
Traditionally, doctors used a procedure called bronchoscopy where a thick but flexible tube called a bronchoscope is used to examine the inside of the airways and take a small sample of tissue analysis in our pathology lab. Standard bronchoscopies only allow doctors to reach spots that are close to the main airways, the center regions of the lung. Northern Westchester Hospital uses the superDimension™ navigation system and its specialized LungGPS™ technology, which enables our thoracic specialists to navigate to the outer areas of the lung during an ENB™ procedure. This expanded visibility of more remote areas of the lung enable our thoracic specialists at Northern Westchester Hospital to detect lung cancer in areas that a standard bronchoscopy could miss.
Lung Nodule Removal Surgery
Lung nodules that are determined to be pre-cancerous need to be followed. In some cases, benign lung tumor removal is recommended. If your thoracic specialist recommends lung nodule removal surgery, you may be a candidate for robotic lung surgery. Robot-assisted surgery is used by highly trained robotic surgeons to perform delicate procedures. The tiny sophisticated instrumentation of the da Vinci Surgical System gives surgeons greater surgical precision and enhanced visualization of the surgical area. Patients undergoing robotic lung surgery require smaller incisions than traditional surgery, which can lead to lower risk of infection, less blood loss, less pain and scarring, and a quicker recovery.
To learn more about lung nodule treatment and diagnosis, please contact us at NWH Thoracic Services at 914.666.1766.