Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner Now Utilizing Optical Biopsy to See Cancer

Cellvizio Technology Helps Patients Avoid Unnecessary Surgery

NEW ORLEANS -- Physicians at Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner are now using optical biopsy during endoscopies to view internal tissues instantaneously and at the microscopic level. Studies have shown that having this cellular view of the lining of the GI tract and lungs can lead to improved detection and provide faster treatment of pre-cancerous conditions and other digestive and respiratory diseases.

Ochsner – Kenner is the first under the Ochsner Health System to offer optical biopsy. This new advanced imaging technology, known as Cellvizio, across specialties to at-risk patients undergoing surveillance for signs of esophageal, biliary, pancreatic, colon and lung cancer, as well as other digestive and respiratory diseases.

“Until now, if we found areas that appeared abnormal during endoscopic procedures, we would often take random tissue samples and send them to a laboratory for analysis,” explained Dr. Viren Joshi, Gastroenterologist at Ochsner Kenner. “This process is often imprecise, inefficient and can take up to a week. Patients often have to come back for additional therapeutic procedures at a later date. This is not only inconvenient, it can delay important treatments. With Cellvizio, we have a tool that provides microscopic images of the lining of the GI tract and pulmonary tissue, which enables us to determine whether the tissue is benign or malignant, and helps us to guide treatment decisions in real-time.”

A growing body of published clinical data shows that by adding Cellvizio to colonoscopies, endoscopies, pancreatic and pulmonary exams, physicians have been able to immediately differentiate cancerous and pre-cancerous changes in tissue. In some cases, physicians have been able to perform minimally invasive treatments for conditions that traditionally required major surgical operations because of the microscopic view generated and the additional information gained from confocal imaging of the tissue. “Cellvizio allows us to see the cells up close and decide whether major surgery is really necessary.

As part of its Cellvizio Optical Biopsy Program, Ochsner – Kenner is investigating the potential benefits of this innovative new technology in biliary and other specialties, as well. Dr. Joshi and a cross-specialty team will also play a key role in educating visiting physicians from other top U.S. medical centers on the clinical and investigative uses of this technology during training courses throughout the coming years.

To use Cellvizio, the tiny microscope is threaded through a traditional endoscope like a catheter or biopsy forceps, while the patient is having an endoscopy. The microstructure of the digestive tract appears in real time on the screen, allowing the physician to recognize the typical features of healthy or diseased tissue. It adds only a few minutes to the standard endoscopic exam and has a proven safety record with no adverse events reported in thousands of cases.

Ochsner – Kenner is one of only 50 centers in the United States using the Cellvizio confocal probe. Cellvizio is cleared by the Food & Drug Administration for use in the gastrointestinal tract and lungs. Over 11,000 patients worldwide have benefited from Cellvizio® to date.

To contact Ochsner Kenner Gastroenterology, for more information on our patient services or to schedule a physician appointment, call 504-842-7690 or visit our website at http://www.ochsner.org/services/endoscopy/.

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