Ochsner Offers Robotic-Assisted Option for Lung Biopsy

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NEW ORLEANS – From Ochsner Medical Center:

Ochsner is now offering patients a new, minimally invasive option for lung biopsy using the Ion endoluminal system—a robotic-assisted tool for bronchoscopic biopsy of the lung. On Sept. 28, Ochsner pulmonologist Susan Gunn performed Louisiana’s first robotic-assisted bronchoscopy using the Ion system. Ochsner is the only hospital in the state offering this technology.

Ion is designed to address a challenging aspect of lung biopsy by enabling physicians to obtain tissue samples from deep within the lung. The Ion system features an ultra-thin, ultra-maneuverable catheter that navigates far into the peripheral lung, and compared to manual techniques, physicians have unprecedented stability and optimal precision necessary for biopsy.

“This tool allows physicians to reach areas of the lung that were not accessible before,” said Gunn. “The ability to offer patients this minimally invasive option is a game-changer for lung cancer care, as we can share a diagnosis and treatment plan earlier, resulting in better outcomes.”

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States. More people die of lung cancer than breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer combined. In 2021, an estimated 235,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed. For those most at risk, annual lung cancer screenings improve a patient’s lung cancer survival rate. If a nodule is found when it is small and has not yet spread, it is more likely to be successfully treated. With the new Ion technology, patients who choose Ochsner for their care can benefit from this minimally invasive approach of diagnosis and staging lung cancer while reducing complications.

“Robotic bronchoscopy using the Ion system is a significant advancement in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with lung cancer, as it reduces the complication rate from the traditional diagnostic method from 20-25 percent to only 1-3 percent,” said Brian Pettiford, thoracic surgeon, Ochsner Medical Center. “The Ochsner Cancer Institute, in collaboration with our surgical and pulmonology teams, work together to offer state-of-the-art lung cancer care to patients right here at home in Louisiana and across the Gulf South, proving each day that local patients do not have to travel for high quality cancer care.”

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