HonorHealth has announced that the Scottsdale Shea Medical Center is the first hospital in Arizona to perform a robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, with shape sensing technology used to help diagnose lung disease.
The robot features an ultra-thin, easily maneuverable catheter that can move 180 degrees in all directions, according to a press release, describing the procedure at the Valley health care system that serves 1.6 million people in the greater Phoenix area.
Doctors can navigate with ease small and tortuous airways, the release said, using the fiber optic technology to reach nodules in any airway segment within the lung. The robot’s flexible biopsy needle can also pass through very tight bends via the catheter to collect tissue in the peripheral lung using real-time vision of the airway, enabling a more precise biopsy and easier surgical experience for patients.
“We are always excited to bring new innovations that will positively impact the care of our patients,” said Kim Post, executive vice president, chief operations officer at HonorHealth, in a prepared statement. “This revolutionary robotic platform will help our clinical teams detect lung cancer earlier and more accurately, which will directly impact their clinical course of care.”
The unprecedented function of this robot provides stability and precision needed for biopsy far into the peripheral lung, the release said, detailing a minimally invasive technique, which enables optimal lung navigation and produces more accurate biopsies, igniting the biopsy marker for doctors to biopsy the targeted area, track the number of biopsies and visualize alternative biopsy pathways.
“This technology offers a safer way to approach and navigate difficult areas in the periphery of the lung for patients who have fairly advanced underlying lung disease,” said Dr. Richard Gillespie, thoracic oncology surgeon at HonorHealth, in a prepared statement. “With the ability to go through the natural airways of the lung with this technology, there is no puncturing, or disruptive means to the lung tissue from the outside of the lining of the lung.”
Before the procedure, a CT scan is taken to create a three-dimensional reconstruction of the patient’s airways and to detect any lesions in the lungs, according to the release, noting the system will be used for lung cancer screening and early diagnosis by providing more access to small airways or hard-to-reach nodules that other technologies are unable to achieve.
Additionally, the procedure is for patients who are not surgical candidates but need biopsies to treat cancers; and is anticipated to reduce the amount of procedures.