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Specialty Procedures

Ochsner physicians use advanced technology for diagnostic screenings and for surgical procedures. These technologies provide faster recovery times for patients and clearer imaging capabilities that help physicians make proper diagnoses. The goal is earlier detection of suspected malignancies. All specialty procedures require a doctor’s referral.

Digital Mammography

Digital mammography is different from conventional mammography in how the image of the breast is viewed and manipulated. Instead of using film to capture and record the image, it uses a special detector to capture and convert x-ray energy into a digital image. 


Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) or echo-endoscopy is an endoscopy combined with ultrasound. The procedure is used to obtain images of organs and can also be used to visualize the walls of these organs. For the patient, the procedure feels no different than an endoscopic procedure, but the EUS delivers more information than a traditional endoscopy.


Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a technique that combines endoscopy and fluoroscopy to diagnose and treat certain problems of the biliary or pancreatic ductal systems. Through the endoscope, the physician can see the inside of the stomach and duodenum and inject dyes into the ducts in the biliary tree and pancreas so they can be seen on x-rays.


Endoscopy allows the doctor to see what’s going on inside the body, take pictures and even remove tissue or cells for examination. Ochsner physicians have the technology to view the intestinal, respiratory and urinary tracts. In fact, Ochsner helped pioneer the endoscopic diagnosis and management of colorectal disease.


The SpyGlass™ Direct Visualization System helps Ochsner physicians develop more accurate diagnoses in some of the smallest channels in the human body: the bile ducts leading to the liver and pancreas. A miniature 6,000-pixel fiberoptic camera probe fits easily into an endoscope and provides real-time images of these small body channels. SpyGlass™ can lead to earlier detection of suspected malignancies, gallstones, blockages, or cystic lesions.

Robotic Partial Nephrectomy (Firefly)

Robotic Partial Nephrectomy (Firefly) is used in conjunction with robotic laparoscopy for kidney surgery. Robotic laparoscopy involves inserting a tube through a small incision to remove a tumor with a remote-controlled unit. Firefly uses infrared imaging to illuminate exactly where the kidney and its blood supply are. The kidney and arteries glow green, but the tumor does not light up, making removal of the tumor easier and more precise. Firefly eliminates the complications of older procedures: blood loss and disruption of the blood supply to the kidney. With the more precise Firefly, doctors can see and accurately control blood flow to keep the body functioning as normally as possible.


Ochsner has the only physician in the United States who is an expert in the techniques of endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD). The ESD technique can be used to remove tumors and lesions in the colon and rectum, in the esophagus, and in the stomach. The ESD technique is much less invasive than the surgical standards of care for these cancers, and in many cases patients can resume normal activity the day after surgery.

Radiation Oncology

Radiation Oncology offers the most advanced radiation treatment procedures and equipment in the Gulf South, as well as the most experienced, well-trained personnel who provide treatments customized for each patient. 

Surgical Options

The oncologic surgeons at Ochsner have specialized training in managing complicated cancer problems through surgical procedures. They are expert in special procedures for removal of cancer and are skilled in the surgical management of recurrent or metastatic cancer. Many of the surgeons have pioneered minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopy and robotic surgery.

Pathology Services

The Ochsner Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine plays an integral role in the diagnosis and management of patients with cancer. In addition to standard methods of determining whether or not a tumor is malignant and techniques for tumor staging, the Ochsner Pathology Department employs several innovative techniques, including advanced immunohistochemistry to help identify the origin of unusual tumors and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to help identify residual tumor cells and the origins of tumors from very small samples. These determinations can have a direct impact on how clinicians treat cancer. The Ochsner Pathology Department is accredited by the College of American Pathologists.

Anatomic Pathology

The Anatomic Pathology Section examines tissue microscopically during the diagnosis of malignances.  Among our staff are physicians with fellowship training in cancer pathology and cytopathology.

The pathologic evaluation of biopsies and tumor resections provides histologic classification and staging information critical to the oncologist's determination of each patient's treatment options. 

Clinical Pathology

The Clinical Pathology Section provides vital information about the well-being of patients through clinical chemistry, hematology and microbiology. The valuable support of the Ochsner Blood Bank contributes greatly to the recovery of patients undergoing cancer treatment.