Baptist Health Paducah performs 100th ION Bronchoscopy

Baptist Health Paducah. June 24, 2024

PADUCAH, KY (June 20, 2024) - Baptist Health Medical Group pulmonologist, Keith Kelly, MD, has successfully completed his 100th ION Bronchoscopy. The same-day procedure is used to diagnose and treat lung cancer, using robot-assisted technology.


“I am thrilled that we have hit this milestone with this outstanding technology, which has revolutionized our ability to assess for early lung cancer,” said Dr. Kelly. “I am also grateful for our fantastic team, including endoscopy, surgery, anesthesia, pathology, radiology and our partners at Intuitive who share my passion for finding answers for our patients.”


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 abnormal nodule is reached, the catheter is locked into place and a needle collects tissue from the mass or nodule to test if it is malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). 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.


The robotic approach is 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.


For more information about this new technology, talk with your primary care provider or to make an appointment with a Baptist Health Medical Group primary care provider, visit