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Northwest Health rolls out robotic-assisted lung cancer biopsy surgery

Times - 4/5/2024

Apr. 4—Lung cancer kills more Americans than any other type of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Early detection can result in more effective treatment and better outcomes, saving lives.

Northwest Health-Porter hospital in Valparaiso is rolling out robotic-assisted lung biopsies to help detect lung cancer earlier. It's offering the new, minimally invasive technology to make more precise diagnoses.

The advanced robotic technology that can be deployed with great dexterity allows doctors to take more targeted samples of suspicious lung nodules.

"Early detection is crucial in the fight against lung cancer," said Marvi Bikak, a board-certified pulmonologist with Northwest Medical Group. "Robotic-assisted lung biopsies allow for the identification of lung nodules at their earliest stages, when they are most treatable, leading to better outcomes and increased survival rates for patients."

Bikak and another physician there have been specially trained to preform the robot-assisted procedure to accurately identify early treatment options if nodules were spotted by a CT lung scan.

"This technology represents a game-changer in our ability to diagnose lung cancer with precision and efficiency. The system has a thin, maneuverable catheter that can reach suspicious-looking nodules deep within the lung that would otherwise be nearly impossible to reach with a traditional bronchoscopy," Bikak said. "By offering patients access to this advanced procedure, we are empowering them to take control of their health and improve their chances of successful treatment."

The robotic system can probe deeply within the lung and be maneuvered with great precision, producing high-definition images. Bikak said it's safer to navigate, reduces the risk of complications and lowers the need for repeat procedures.

As a result, doctors can better tailor treatment plans to individuals so they recover better and faster.

"Northwest Health remains committed to leveraging the latest advancements in medical technology to provide our community with the highest standard of care," said James Leonard, chief executive officer at Northwest Health-Porter. "The introduction of robotic-assisted lung biopsies underscores our dedication to improving patient outcomes and advancing the fight against lung cancer."

Northwest Health encourages smokers to undergo lung cancer CT screenings as a preventative measure.


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