Robotic-assisted Bronchoscopy for Peripheral Lung Biopsy

Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy is a minimally invasive biopsy procedure that allows our doctors to obtain tissue samples from deep within the lung. This procedure is combined with a staging procedure called endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), which evaluates the lymph nodes in the chest. Combining these procedures helps to make early-stage lung cancer diagnoses and avoid the potential for subsequent biopsies and anesthesia.

The Lung Cancer Program at UI Health utilizes the Ion robotic-assisted endoluminal platform for minimally invasive peripheral lung biopsies.  

Benefits of Robotic Bronchoscopy for Lung Biopsy

Though lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, when diagnosed at the earliest stage (IA-1), it has an average 5-year survival rate of more than 90%. With robotic bronchoscopy, physicians are able to navigate far into the peripheral lung for tissue biopsy with more stability and precision compared to traditional biopsy techniques.

During robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, a physician will guide an ultra-thin catheter through the patient's airway to the area of the lung designated for biopsy. The small, flexible instruments can reach all segments of the lung — even far into the outer lung. Once at the location of the nodule for biopsy, the catheter locks in place. The physician will then insert biopsy tools through the catheter to take a sample of the lung tissue. This procedure is coupled with endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) to perform staging of the lymph nodes at the same time, preventing the need for an additional biopsy procedure.

These advancements with the robotic system increase the likelihood of a definitive diagnosis, so patients can avoid additional biopsies. As robotic surgery leaders, UI Health is committed to providing the most advanced procedures — from biopsy to treatment. 

Visit the Lung Cancer Program at UI Health to learn more and schedule an appointment.