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Biopsy robot could improve accuracy of breast cancer detection

Jan 8, 2018 | Failure to Diagnose

What’s being called the world’s smallest 3D-printed biopsy robot could improve the accuracy of biopsies needed to take a tissue sample to confirm a diagnosis of breast cancer, which is the most common cancer in women. This technology could also make the process of getting a biopsy less time-consuming for women in New York while also minimizing the potential for human error. Nearly 2 million women have the procedure each year to examine a suspicious lump or an imaging abnormality.

Due to the MRI-guided robotic biopsy system’s precision, it may be a way to reduce the possibility of doctor misdiagnosis, which sometimes results in a delay in treatment. The main benefit of the system is that it increases the accuracy of the placement of the needle. The device is also designed to remain inside of the MRI scanner, allowing for near real-time image guidance.

Unlike conventional MRI-navigated biopsies that typically use a larger needle that may have to be inserted several times to obtain a viable sample, the robotic procedure uses a smaller needle that can be better manipulated to target tissues correctly during the first insertion. The system was developed by researchers in the Netherlands and is controlled by pipes operated outside of the MRI scanner to prevent air from interfering with the scan.

Even when newer technology is used, there may be instances when patients are affected adversely by delayed treatment if a medical problem isn’t detected as soon as possible. Misdiagnoses and failure to diagnose are forms of malpractice. A lawyer may evaluate test procedures to determine if there were human errors involved that resulted in a delay in someone getting treatment. If this is the case, a person may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and the loss of the ability to make a living.