New technology to assist lung surgeons by projecting the optimal incision site onto the patient's body has been developed by medical researchers at the Kochi Medical School in Nankoku, the school said Thursday.

Information gathered from CT scans determining the precise location of a cancer inside the rib cage is used to project onto the patient's body the best place for an incision.

The research team has already used the method in 30 video-assisted thoracoscopic surgeries, in which a small camera is introduced through a tiny opening in the patient's chest.

According to Kochi Medical School lecturer Takashi Anayama, lung cancer surgeons now rely on touch to find the right location to make incisions for video-assisted thoracoscopic surgeries — a method that can be imprecise.

The new visual technology shows surgeons where the cancer is to within 3 mm, he said.

"(This method) is very simple and allows for precise incisions," Anayama said. "I hope that with some modifications, it can be also adopted to other medical fields."