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Before moving forward, however, Dr. Bancos consulted with K. Robert Shen, M.D., a Mayo Clinic thoracic surgeon, to see if there might be an alternative. Dr. Shen reviewed Jessie’s case and had an idea. He wanted another expert to confirm that it could work, though, so he invited Patrick Eiken, M.D. from the Department of Radiology to join the discussion.
Between the three physicians, they agreed Dr. Shen’s idea of using a procedure known as cryoablation could potentially solve the problem. Although it’s not typically used to treat tumors related to Cushing syndrome, cryoablation is often an effective approach for eliminating other kinds of small lung tumors. In consultation with Jessie and her family, the team decided it was worth a try.
During the procedure, special needles were inserted through Jessie’s chest to the spot within her lung where the tumor was located. Passing compressed gas through the needles created a zone of extreme cold, freezing the surrounding tissue and destroying the tumor without harming the rest of the lung.
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