Latest lung cancer detecting technology available at Blessing Hospital

ION

The Ion robotic-assisted bronchoscopy system currently in use at Blessing Hospital, enables doctors to more easily reach nodules or masses in the lung through the use of an ultra-thin catheter. | Photo courtesy of Blessing Hospital

QUINCY — Patients undergoing a lung biopsy for possible cancer at Blessing Hospital are having their procedure done using the latest technological advancement. Blessing offers the Ion robotic-assisted bronchoscopy system.

Blessing is the only hospital in the region offering this technology, made by the same company that developed the renowned da Vinci robotic surgery system.

Before an Ion lung biopsy begins, a 3D map of the patient’s lungs is created using a CT scan. Using that map, the Ion software generates the safest and most efficient route through the lung to the nodule or mass. No matter where the nodule or mass is in the lung, the Ion makes reaching it easier than has been possible previously through the use of an ultra-thin catheter that can reach all 18 segments of the lung and move 180 degrees in all directions.

In a press release, Nanjappa Somanna, board-certified and fellowship-trained pulmonologist, said, “Ion represents an advancement in the existing approaches to lung biopsy by enabling us to obtain tissue samples from deep within the lung, addressing a challenging aspect of lung biopsy. This increases the chances the patient can receive a clear diagnosis and begin treatment more quickly, if needed, by decreasing the need for additional biopsies.”

When lung cancer diagnosis can be made in the earliest stages of the disease, the average five-year survival rate is 92 percent. Lung cancer is the leading cancer diagnosed and treated at Blessing Hospital, with 167 cases in 2021, the last year for which figures are available.

Once at the location of the nodule or mass to be biopsied, the Ion system’s catheter locks in place for precise placement of biopsy tools.

“In addition to providing greater reach into the lung, the Ion system provides greater stability during the biopsy process than any other alternative available today and allows us to know exactly where the catheter is in the patient’s lungs at all times,” said Umama Adil, board-certified and fellowship-trained pulmonologist.

In addition to Adil and Somanna, Quincy Medical Group physicians and Blessing Hospital medical staff members Elie Chbeir and Miguel Pardinas use the Ion robotic-assisted bronchoscopy system at Blessing Hospital.

For more information on the Ion system, go to blessinghealth.org/robotics.

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