HealthWatch: More Viva Scope: Fewer Biopsies

Published 06/01 2014 11:25AM

Updated 06/06 2014 07:03PM

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Often, people have concerns and if the doctor isn't sure, a biopsy is ordered, meaning a piece of skin must be removed. Now, doctors can use a new device that checks for cancer just beneath the surface allowing patients to save face.

Joseph Donnelly has been here before with Babar K. Rao, MD, FAAD, Dermatologist, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, checking out the moles on his face. Donnelly has had two moles that were cancerous in the past and he is about to get the verdict on a new one.

"Absolutely no need to do surgery, or no need to do cutting," Dr. Rao told Ivanhoe.

No surgery, no cutting from a biopsy, thanks to the device Dr. Rao held in his hand a Viva Scope.

"It will take just a few images, which then will be visible on a monitor and I can tell right away if it is good or not good," Dr. Rao said.

The Viva Scope is applied directly to any part of the body. It takes only sixty seconds to look beneath the skin's surface. A certain image means cancer and an operation for total removal is needed. But, a different image says it's nothing and no biopsy is needed.

"I think it will become much more common. I think I know it will save lives," Donnelly told Ivanhoe.

At 70, Donnelly can walk away knowing he won't have unnecessary scars just to be sure he is skin cancer free.

Dr. Rao told Ivanhoe, at present, insurance usually does not pay for the use of the Viva Scope, but patients whose doctors have the device can expect to pay $250 or more out of pocket.















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