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New Robot-Assisted Technology is Helping to Diagnose Lung Cancer Earlier

Published in Media Releases

CentraCare is changing the future of lung cancer care with its new robot-assisted bronchoscopy. This less-invasive lung biopsy can detect lung cancer earlier with better accuracy.

The Ion Endoluminal System allows physicians to further reach into the peripheral lungs with an ultra-thin and maneuverable catheter that brings extreme precision and stability compared to manual techniques.

“Ion robotic bronchoscopy uses cutting edge technology to safely navigate the lung and accurately biopsy a suspicious lung lesion,” said Justin Stocks, MD, Pulmonology Physician Specialty Director & St. Cloud Hospital Respiratory Care Medical Director. “Numerous patients have already benefitted from this technology, and it will be integral to future lung cancer care at CentraCare.”

Since first being introduced on April 11, this new piece of technology has already helped 18 patients in the Endoscopy Unit at St. Cloud Hospital. This procedure allows doctors to create a treatment plan in hours, leading to a quicker recovery and fewer patient complications.

"This gives us the ability to catch cancer in its earliest stages and gives the patient the greatest opportunity for treatment," said Jenna Rooda, RN, Inpatient Endoscopy Supervisor.

The Ion system is designed to fit easily into a bronchoscopy suite and integrate with existing technologies. The robotic design allows the physician to navigate the patient’s airways throughout the procedure.

"This novel technology creates a virtual pathway similar to GPS like technology to help us reach the nodule for a safe biopsy. Since all lung cancers begin as nodules, robotic bronchoscopy is integral in diagnosing lung cancers at an early stage,” said Pulmonary and Critical Care physician Ramakanth Pata, MD.

The robotic bronchoscopy allows CentraCare to provide precise procedures to the Central Minnesota community, allowing patients advanced care close to home.