St. Francis Medical Center First in Northeast Louisiana to Provide Innovative, Non-Invasive Technology for Lung Cancer

09/05/2019

Advanced technology enables physicians to diagnose and stage lung cancer and sample peripheral pulmonary nodules using nonsurgical means.

Monroe, Louisiana - St. Francis Medical Center is the first in Northeast Louisiana to offer endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) technology for physicians to more effectively diagnose and stage lung cancer, infections and other inflammatory diseases in the bronchial tree. Traditional diagnostic procedures, such as mediastinoscopy, are considered an inpatient surgical procedure. Now, using EBUS technology, physicians can achieve the same accurate results using this minimally invasive diagnostic procedure in the outpatient setting.

“We take pride in being able to offer our patients the latest technology and innovation for diagnosing cancers and other diseases of the airway and lungs,” said Kristin Wolkart, St. Francis Medical Center President. “This new technology, the first of its kind in Northeast Louisiana, allows physicians to provide patients with the recommended, nonsurgical solutions for sampling lymph nodes and lesions for faster, accurate diagnosis and staging of lung cancer without having to leave our community.”

EBUS uses an ultrasound-guided bronchoscope to “see” beyond the walls of the airways and detect the precise location of lymph nodes. The lymph nodes can then be sampled using transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA). EBUS-TBNA technology provides visualization of the target lymph node and the needle so that the physician can visually guide the needle in real-time to the intended site to obtain the sample.

This technology also includes radial EBUS which enables physicians to more accurately sample lesions in parts of the lungs that are beyond the reach of a bronchoscope. Radial EBUS involves inserting a small ultrasound probe down a flexible bronchoscope. The resulting image is displayed on a monitor. When the scope is in the correct position, the probe is withdrawn and a biopsy sampling device is inserted down the scope to collect tissue samples for biopsy.

EBUS-TBNA and radial EBUS are proven modalities for helping physicians diagnose and stage lung cancer and diagnose other pulmonary diseases. Both provide patients with a convenient, minimally invasive diagnostic procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis.

St. Francis Medical Center also offers a low-dose CT screening test for individuals who have a greater risk of developing lung cancer, as well as smoking cessation classes.

By acquiring advanced technologies such as the Olympus EBUS Solution, St. Francis Medical Center is able to offer premier care for its patients. The addition of this new technology is part of St. Francis Forward, an $80 million, four-year capital campaign intended to revitalize the Monroe medical center and community.

About Our Lady of the Lake

Our Lady of the Lake is a not-for-profit 800-bed medical center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with more than 7,100 employees committed to building a healthy community through excellence in patient care and education. With a Regional Medical Center, dedicated Children’s Hospital, two freestanding emergency rooms, and a 450-provider Physician Group, Our Lady of the Lake provides comprehensive healthcare services for common to complex conditions. Our Lady of the Lake is a primary teaching site for graduate medical education programs and is recognized in the areas of heart and vascular, trauma and emergency care, stroke, cancer care, minimally-invasive procedures and more. In 2016, Our Lady of the Lake was one of three hospitals recognized by the American Hospital Association with the Quest for Quality Prize award.

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is Louisiana’s fastest growing children’s hospital treating more than 100,000 patients annually from across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The hospital is the only healthcare provider in the Baton Rouge area that provides a full range of pediatric services ranging from a 24/7 pediatric emergency room to a team of more than 100 pediatricians and pediatric specialists. For more information, visit www.ololchildrens.org.

The new freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is currently under construction and is set to open in 2019. To learn more about the project, visit www.letsbuildamazing.com.

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is a collaborative, coordinated and child-focused statewide health network that provides patients with more access to physicians and providers specifically trained to care for children. The network includes hospital-based services at the main campus in Baton Rouge and the future freestanding hospital, as well as in Monroe with St. Francis Pediatrics. It also connects pediatricians, pediatric specialists and other health providers across our state with clinics in the Baton Rouge region, Hammond, Lafayette and Monroe. This model of coordinated pediatric healthcare extends the vital work happening at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital into more communities across Louisiana so families have greater access to expertise close to home.

About the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System is one of the largest healthcare systems based in Louisiana and is the leading healthcare provider for more than half of Louisiana's population, as well as serves Mississippi's largest metropolitan area. The health system is a non-profit, Catholic organization sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the ministry serves patients in Louisiana and Mississippi through a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians, elderly housing and integrated systems.

About Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group

With more than 450 healthcare providers throughout more than 70 locations, Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of doctors specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems.

About St. Elizabeth Physicians

St. Elizabeth Physicians is the largest provider of primary and specialty care in Ascension Parish, employing over 50 primary care physicians, specialists and providers. St. Elizabeth Physicians has been recognized for quality by the Louisiana Quality Foundation, and as the Large Business of the Year twice by the Ascension Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit the St. Elizabeth Hospital website.

About St. Francis Medical Center

St. Francis Medical Center is a not-for-profit 359-bed medical center in Monroe, Louisiana with more than 1,800 team members committed to caring for those we serve. With an acute-care hospital, freestanding outpatient center, 19 outpatient clinics and nearly 350 physician partners, St. Francis Medical Center provides comprehensive healthcare services for a variety of medical and surgical specialties. St. Francis offers Northeast Louisiana’s only Level III NICU, Level III OB, and Level II PICU services. St. Francis Medical Center leads the region in heart and vascular services, critical care, and complex and minimally-invasive surgical procedures. The hospital offers an Accredited Chest Pain Center and Centers of Excellence in the areas of obstetrics, bariatric surgery, and breast health.For more information, visit the St. Francis Medical Center website.

About St. Francis Medical Group

With over 50 healthcare providers at 16 clinic locations, St. Francis Medical Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks and is backed by the resources of St. Francis Medical Center. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of providers specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems. For more information visit the St. Francis Medical Center website.