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Baptist Health Paducah invests in robotic bronchoscopy for minimally invasive lung cancer diagnosis

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | July 19, 2023 CT Endoscopy X-Ray
PADUCAH, KENTUCKY (July 17) - Patients at Baptist Health Paducah now benefit from a same-day procedure to diagnose and treat lung cancer, using robot-assisted technology with the Ion rendoluminal system using robotic bronchoscopy.

Baptist Health Paducah joins four other Baptist Health hospitals that have recently received this new technology. Baptist Health Floyd was the first hospital to begin using this system in February.

“Paired with CT lung screening, the intuitive Ion robotic bronchoscope is the most significant technological advance I have found during my career for identifying lung cancer at its earliest stage,” said Dr. Keith Kelly, pulmonologist with Baptist Health Medical Group Pulmonary & Critical Care. “This will prompt earlier definitive and curative treatment for lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the USA.”
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The robotic approach is also beneficial for those with other health concerns, such as severe lung disease or active smoking, both of which can increase infection risk or other rare complications associated with more traditional biopsy options.

Biopsies, which involve removing a tiny piece of tissue from the suspicious area, are typically performed to diagnose lung issues such as cancer. The biopsy can determine whether nodules or masses are malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous).

Robotic bronchoscopy uses an ultra-thin, flexible tube with a camera in it, going in the nose or mouth and through narrow airways in the lung to the lesion. The catheter can move 180 degrees in all directions and can navigate through the lungs to reach nodules in any airway segment.

Once the nodule is reached, the catheter is locked into place and a needle collects tissue from the mass or nodule. The outpatient procedure, performed under general anesthesia, takes one to two hours. Patients usually go home the same day, with some soreness or numbness in the mouth and throat.

“Baptist Health is investing in leading-edge cancer care solutions such as robotic bronchoscopy to help detect lung cancer earlier, when more effective treatment options are available,” said Amanda Henson, Baptist Health system vice president, service lines. “We want people to know that if they choose Baptist Health for their lung issues, they have access to a higher level of care.”

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. There are no symptoms in the early and most curable stages of the disease. With early detection and prompt surgical treatment, the cure rate is 92 percent.

An annual lung CT screening test, which uses a low dose of radiation, can detect the cancer when it’s small. The non-invasive screening is recommended for those most at-risk for lung cancer: those over the age of 50 who have smoked, those who once smoked heavily but quit, those with a history of lung cancer, and those with risk factors such as exposure to asbestos or who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Baptist Heath has partnered with Ion’s maker previously. Ion is made by Intuitive, the company that makes the da Vinci surgical system, and is built on more than two decades of leadership in robot-assisted technology. Baptist Health Paducah has two da Vinci robotic surgical systems that offer a wide range of procedures including gynecology, bariatric, thoracic, colon, urology and ear, nose and throat.

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