June 10, 2020
Savannah, GA - Memorial Health is the first healthcare system in Georgia and among the first hospitals in the United States to offer robotic-assisted bronchoscopy for patients with lung nodules. There are currently only 52 of these systems in use in the US.
"Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the US, in part because it has no symptoms in its early stages," said Dr. Jason McClune, interventional pulmonologist. "This new technology has the potential to help us to make a diagnosis earlier while also providing a safer biopsy procedure. We're excited to bring robotic-assisted bronchoscopy to Memorial Health as we believe it offers a more hopeful future for patients with lung cancer."
More than 90 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive the disease, because it is often found at an advanced stage. There are a variety of diagnostic options currently available for lung cancer, but all have limitations in accuracy, safety, or invasiveness. Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy is a new technology that allows for earlier detection of lung cancer with greater accuracy. This minimally invasive procedure is safer than CT-guided lung biopsy and unlike a traditional bronchoscopy, the robotic platform gives the physician the ability to reach the entire lung safely and obtain tissue samples of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung. It also has a lower risk for complications than traditional biopsy techniques.
A timely benefit of robotic-assisted bronchoscopy is that it requires minimal interaction at the head of the table. Because the scope is guided using a controller, the physician and clinical staff are able to socially distance during the procedure, creating a safer experience for both the patient and care team.