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Robotic Assisted Bronchoscopy in San Angelo:

Using Robotic Assisted Bronchoscopy to Improve Lung Cancer Outcomes

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Analyzing suspicious nodules in the lung as soon as possible is a critical step in order for patients to receive a diagnosis and begin treatment. Shannon Medical Center now offers a new robotic bronchoscopy system called Ion, which uses minimally invasive, advanced technology to increase the accuracy and precision of diagnosing nodules in the lungs.

What is Bronchoscopy?

Bronchoscopy is a procedure where suspicious nodules are removed from the lung to be examined in a laboratory for lung cancer, bronchitis, cancer of the lymph nodes and other conditions.

How Robotic Assisted Bronchoscopy Works:

Traditional bronchoscopy is a procedure that relies on scopes and x-rays to guide a needle through a patient’s lung to collect biopsies. This process holds risks of complications for patients and may make it difficult to get a diagnosis quickly.

With the Ion robotic bronchoscopy system, a trained specialist uses a flexible catheter with a scope to explore passages in the lung. Ion utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and fiber optic sensors to digitally map inside the lung, guiding the catheter along narrow pathways.

Once the catheter reaches the suspicious nodule, Ion uses state-of-the-art technology to lock it in place. A small, pliable needle then collects a tissue sample (biopsy) directly from the nodule.

Benefits of Robotic Assisted Bronchoscopy:

  • Reaches All Areas of the Lung: Early cancers most often start in the outer areas of the lung, and catching lung cancer in the early stages gives patients improved success in treatment and better long-term outcomes. The Ion system makes it easier to take biopsies in hard-to-reach areas, meaning conditions like lung cancer can be detected sooner and treatment can begin earlier.
  • Better Results with Fewer Procedures: Ion combines the precision of artificial intelligence (AI) and fiber optic sensors with state-of-the-art stabilizing technology, leaving less room for error when specialists are collecting biopsies. Accurate biopsies give patients and providers the answers they need quickly, without the stress of additional surgeries.
  • Multiple Biopsies in One Procedure: With Ion, specialists can also biopsy lymph nodes during the same procedure as nodules in the lung. When nodules and lymph nodes are biopsied together, specialists can reach a diagnosis and stage the cancer with only one procedure.
  • Reduced Risk of Complications: Compared to traditional bronchoscopy, the Ion system’s minimally invasive catheter reduces the risk of complications for patients with conditions like severe emphysema and COPD. At-risk patients can undergo bronchoscopies earlier, identify cancerous nodules sooner and begin treatment in a timely manner.
  • Quicker Recovery: Patients can expect faster recovery times with robotic bronchoscopy because the minimally-invasive catheter system retrieves biopsies from inside the lung, unlike traditional bronchoscopy.

Keeping Oncology Care Local:

At Shannon, robotic assisted bronchoscopy works as part of a multi-disciplinary clinic where oncology, radiation, thoracic surgery, radiology and pathology work together to get patients on a treatment plan as soon as possible.

The Ion system is an exciting improvement for patients needing bronchoscopies in San Angelo and beyond. Shannon remains dedicated to providing high-quality oncology care in the Concho Valley, so patients have access to the same procedures as larger cities.

Contact your primary care provider if you have any concerns regarding coughing, shortness of breath or pain in the chest.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about robotic bronchoscopy at Shannon, contact Shannon Pulmonology
at 325-747-2158.

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