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Superdimension™ Navigation System

Effective & Accurate Lung Biopsies in Baxter County

Doctors take tissue samples, also known as a biopsy, to accurately diagnose the patient’s medical condition. It is important to discover complications and indicators on your lungs early on, before they have the chance to spread and proliferate. Extensive research shows that the majority of small spots discovered on patients’ lungs end up not being cancerous and instead could be an infection or leftover scar tissue from an earlier infection.

How Our Doctors Conduct Biopsies

Traditionally, medical professionals utilize a procedure known as a bronchoscopy where a thick and flexible tube referred to as a bronchoscope is inserted into the main air passages to examine and take a small tissue sample to later analyze. However, traditional bronchoscopies limit the doctors in that they are only able to view and reach areas near the main airways.

Fortunately, our doctors are able to utilize Medtronic's superDimension™ Navigation System, also called superD, to perform Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy™ (ENB™) procedures. These procedures allow us to gain access to the far reaches of our patients’ lungs, providing us with more accurate diagnostic information and a clearer insight into their medical condition. This highly advanced system greatly assists us in determining early diagnoses and creating more effective treatment plans.

Safe & More Accurate Than Traditional Methods

Traditional bronchoscopies generally limit doctors’ access to only the center areas of the lung. BRMC’s usage of the superDimension™ Navigation System and its accompanying LungGPS™ technology allows our doctors to observe the outer areas of the lung as well, giving us more accurate information than we might have had otherwise. This procedure is widely considered to be a safe and effective way for diagnosing early stages of cancer. Over 50,000 patients have successfully undergone an ENB™ procedure at one of the most prominent global medical centers using the superD. This procedure may make the patient’s medical experience better by providing lower procedural problems than traditional diagnostic methods.

BRMC has been offering patients access to the superDimension™ Navigation System since September, 2014. One of our best cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons, Louis Elkins, M.D., is highly trained and qualified to use the superD system and conduct diagnostic procedures.

To learn more about the superD system and our cutting-edge diagnostic procedures, visit

Accurate & Thorough Diagnoses in Baxter County

Each year that passes, more people die from lung cancer than of pancreatic, prostate, colon and breast cancers combined. Baxter Regional Medical Center utilizes a cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedure that helps patients diagnose their lung lesions so those that have cancer can get treated right away and those that don’t can avoid unnecessary surgery.

These are called Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy™ procedures, also referred to as ENB™ procedures. They are conducted on a state-of-the-art device called the superDimension™ Navigation System, also called the superD. This device utilizes advanced LungGPS™ technology that enables doctors to navigate and observe hard-to-reach sections of patients’ lungs.

New, Improved & FDA Approved

“The superDimension navigation system, with GPS-like technology, is a significant advancement for aiding in the diagnosis of lung cancer and overcomes limitations of traditional diagnostic approaches including bronchoscopy, needle biopsy and surgery,” said Louis Elkins, M.D., cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, Baxter Regional Heart Clinic. “By guiding us through the complicated web of pathways inside the lungs, we’re able to access and sample target tissue throughout the entire lung without surgery or a needle biopsy. This technology can aid with earlier diagnoses which may allow for less invasive treatments for patients with lung cancer.”

Even when you take into account the incredible medical advancements of the 21st century, many doctors still utilize traditional medical methods that may limit or assume increased risk to the patient. The traditional way to perform bronchoscopies only works effectively in the upper areas of the lungs and needle biopsies can lead to a collapsed lung. Some patients are even forced to undergo traditional surgery just to determine if the lesion was indicative of cancer or not. This traditional surgery can require a large and visible incision, a long recovery period, and multiple broken ribs.

Map Out Your Lungs

Using the superDimension™ system, our doctors will be able to create a visual roadmap of your lung thanks to the CT scan images. The LungGPS™ technology effectively creates a picture of your thousands of small pathways inside your lungs. Using the mapped out picture, our doctors are able to guide tiny instruments through the lung’s pathways so we can collect tissue samples of the lesion and place markers for treatment in the future.

About Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of men and women in the nation. It passed breast cancer in 1987 to become the number one cause of death in women, stated the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Lung cancer is estimated to be responsible for nearly 160,000 American deaths in 2015, making up 27 percent of all cancer-related deaths.

Discovering the disease in its early stages drastically cuts down the fatality rates. When lung cancer is discovered, diagnosed, and quickly treated, patients’ survival rates jump up to 88 percent whereas late stage cancer patients have just 15 percent. This falls even further, to one percent, when lung cancer is diagnosed at stage 4 and has proliferated to other sections of the patient’s anatomy.


Why Would I Need an Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy™ (ENB™) Procedure?

You would most benefit from an ENB™ procedure if you have a lesion on your lung that is hard to reach and observe with the traditional method of bronchoscopy. An EMB™ procedure is minimally invasive and it can provide our doctors with access to the most distant sections in your lungs. This procedure can help our medical professionals diagnose early stages of lung cancer and give us the opportunity to identify the stage and characteristics of your cancer. This invaluable information will greatly assist our doctors when they prescribe a treatment plan for you.

How Is an ENB™ Procedure Different From Traditional Bronchoscopy Procedures?

Traditional bronchoscopy procedures usually limit doctor’s access to solely the center areas of the lung. By utilizing superDimension™ Navigation System and its advanced LungGPS™ technology, our experienced doctors can traverse and observe the more remote regions of the lung. This could provide us with a more accurate diagnosis, allowing us to prescribe a more appropriate treatment plan.

How Does Lunggps™ Technology Work?

This highly advanced technology works much in the same way as the Global Positioning System in your car or phone. By utilizing your CT scan, the superDimension™ system can create a visual picture of your lung and its many intricacies. Your doctor is then guided by the superDimension™’s map of your lung to direct instruments for observation. The doctor can literally see inside your lungs and place instruments for place markers, biopsy, and diagnosis.

What Are the Risks Associated With an Emb™ Procedure?

The most common risk in an EMB™ procedure is pneumothorax. This is also called a collapsed lung and it may happen in two to three percent of all patients.

How Does This Compare With Other Procedures?

Since EMB™ procedures only use natural airways for navigation, it diminishes your risk of procedural complications to less than three percent. The risk for procedural complications for something like pneumothorax can reach as high as 40 percent for procedures like CTFNA, TTNA, and TTNB, which are all needle-based biopsies.

Who Performs the Emb™ Procedure?

An EMB™ procedure is usually conducted by specialty physicians such as a thoracic surgeon or pulmonologist. At Baxter Regional Medical Center, Louis Elkins, M.D., is highly trained and qualified to use the superD system and conduct ENB™ procedures.

Is It Done in a Hospital and How Long Does It Take?

EMB™ procedures are usually performed in an operating room in a hospital or an outpatient setting. Most patients are able to return and recover in the comfort of their own homes the same day of the procedure. It generally only takes half an hour to an hour to complete an EMB™ procedure.

How Long Does It Take to Receive Results From a Lung Biopsy?

It varies. Some physicians will have a pathologist with them during the EMB™ procedure so that they can provide you with the results immediately after. Other physicians will have the samples tested at a lab and give you the result afterwards.

What Can I Expect During an Emb™ Procedure?

For an EMB™ procedure, the doctor will insert a bronchoscope through the patient’s airways and into their lungs. A bronchoscope is a flexible tube about as thick as a pencil. After the tube is correctly positioned, the doctor inserts instruments through the tube for taking tissues and observing the affected areas.

Do I Have Other Options?

Yes, we offer a vast range of medical services at BRMC. Other viable options include TTNA or operations involving surgery such as thoracoscopy, wedge resection, and mediastinoscopy. All of these procedures have their own respective, unique risks associated with them and you should discuss these in-depth with your physician before choosing one.

How Many People Have Had an Emb™ Procedure?

Over 50,000 patients have undergone this type of procedure at one of the world’s most prominent medical facilities that uses superDimension™ Navigation System made possible by LungGPS™ technology.

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