Robot-assisted lung biopsy performed at Floyd Medical Center

June 2, 2022–5:51 p.m.


Floyd Medical Center now has a robot-assisted biopsy tool that can help doctors diagnose lung cancer earlier.

Atrium Health Floyd’s first procedures using the new Intuitive Ion system were performed Tuesday. The device features an ultra-thin robotic catheter that can move 180 degrees in all directions. Physicians can navigate the tiny catheter through small airways to reach almost anywhere in the lung. The flexible biopsy needle can also pass through very tight bends to collect tissue samples.

Lung cancer is the world’s leading cause of cancer deaths. Many suspicious lesions found in the lung may be small and difficult to access, which can make obtaining a diagnosis challenging.

“Early lung cancer detection and diagnosis can save lives,” said Dr. Kenneth Jones, senior vice president, and chief medical officer at Atrium Health Floyd. “The Ion gives doctors a less invasive way and more robotically advanced way to collect tissue samples that otherwise might be missed.”

Tuesday’s procedures were performed by Harbin Clinic pulmonologists Dr. Harsha Banavasi and Dr. Amine Bourbia. Harbin pulmonologists Dr. Darshak Pandya and Dr. Kunal Patel are also expected to use the device in the near future.

Floyd Medical Center installed its first da Vinci robotic surgical system in 2020. That system is optimized for a full range of surgical services. The hospital’s first robot-assisted surgery took place in November 2020, using the da Vinci Xi Surgical System. The hospital added a second da Vinci Xi Surgical System in late 2021.

In December 2021, Floyd Medical Center recorded its first robot-assisted knee replacement surgery using the DePuy Synthes VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution.
  “We are always looking at robotic surgery options as that technology continues to expand,” said Jones. “Improving outcomes for our patients requires that we be diligent in pursuing all the advanced technology that is available.”

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