BOSTON (CBS) - Donna Durell, 59, from New Hampshire was told she had a small lung nodule, found incidentally on a CT scan.
"They weren't sure exactly what it was," Durell explains. Donna was a former smoker and the concern was that the nodule might be cancerous.
Usually the options for tiny nodules are to watch them over time or undergo lung surgery with the hope that the surgeon can actually feel the tiny tumor and take it out successfully.
Durell opted to the AMIGO suite at Brigham and Women's Hospital where she had her tumor removed with unbelievable precision.
Dr. Raphael Bueno, the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital, was Durell's surgeon.
"What we have developed here at the Brigham is a method to use a CAT scan in the middle of the operating room to view the spot, view the nodule, and mark it with a small device that looks like a fishing hook," he explained.
Then they remove the nodule, leaving healthy lung tissue behind.
"They have a shorter operation, shorter anesthesia, shorter recovery, less complications," Dr. Bueno says. "And they go home faster."
So far, Dr. Bueno has performed this procedure on 21 patients in a clinical trial with great success, and Durell was one of them. Her tumor did end up being cancerous, but Dr. Bueno is confident they got it all.
"She is perfectly healthy now," he says. "And for all intents and purposes, she's cured."
Durell says she's optimistic about her future.
Dr. Bueno says curing patients of lung cancer is gratifying.
"Telling them yes, lung cancer is a big deal and yes it is dangerous, But you're going to be fine," he explains. "Doesn't get any better than that."
Brigham and Women's is the only hospital in the world with an AMIGO suite and the only hospital in the world performing this type of lung nodule surgery. If you're interested in finding out more about the clinical trial, click here or call Brigham and Women's Hospital at 617-732-5922.
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