New Delhi: In a first in the country, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) today set up Virtual Bronchoscopy Navigation (VBN), an advanced facility for diagnosis and treatment of patients with small tumour-like spots in lungs.
The VBN system was installed in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders at AIIMS, Karan Madan, additional spokesperson of AIIMS, said.
“Lung diseases are increasing and a large number of patients seek treatment for pulmonary problems. It is not uncommon to find patients with small tumour-like spots in lungs which are picked up on chest X-rays and CT scan examinations,” Madan said.
These small lung lesions can very commonly be lung cancer and if not diagnosed on time, they can increase in size and the cancer can spread to other body parts, he said.
Not only cancer, these small lung lesions can also be related to diseases like Tuberculosis.
“Just seeing the appearance of these lesions on the CT scans or the chest X-rays, it can be very difficult to make a definite diagnosis and for that a biopsy is required, in which a needle is used to puncture the chest wall to reach the spot,” the AIIMS spokesperson said.
The VBN system allows getting samples from these small lung lesions with extreme precision and safety by using a bronchoscope, thereby increasing the likelihood of making a clear cut diagnosis.
The machine uses the CT scan image of a patient to generate a 3D view of the windpipe, following which a bronchoscope can be passed through the windpipe to reach the abnormal areas by avoiding puncturing the lung and reducing complications.
“Most of the patients with lung cancer come late or in advanced stages of the disease, in which case only a limited number of treatment options can be offered to them. If the disease is diagnosed early, definitive treatment can be offered and cure rates can be improved,” AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said.