Image-guided preoperative localization of pulmonary nodules for video-assisted and robotically assisted surgery

Shaunagh McDermott, Florian J. Fintelmann, Andrew J. Bierhals, Douglas D. Silin, Melissa C. Price, Harald C. Ott, Jo Anne O. Shepard, John R. Mayo, Amita Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robotically assisted surgery are used increasingly for minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic resection of pulmonary nodules. Unsuccessful localization of small, impalpable, or deep pulmonary nodules can necessitate conversion from VATS to open thoracotomy. Preoperative localization techniques performed by radiologists have improved the success rates of VATS resection for small and subsolid nodules. Any center at which VATS diagnostic resection of indeterminate pulmonary nodules is performed should be supported by radiologists who offer preoperative nodule localization. Many techniques have been described, including image-guided injection of radioisotopes and radiopaque liquids and placement of metallic wires, coils, and fiducial markers. These markers enable the surgeon to visualize the position of an impalpable nodule intraoperatively. This article provides details on how to perform each percutaneous localization technique, and a group of national experts with established nodule localization programs describe their preferred approaches. Special reference is made to equipment required, optimization of marker placement, prevention of technique-specific complications, and postprocedural treatment. This comprehensive unbiased review provides valuable information for those who are considering implementation or optimization of a nodule localization program according to workflow patterns, surgeon preference, and institutional resources in a particular center.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1264-1279
Number of pages16
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


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