Bronchoscopy is a biopsy procedure for lung cancer. A biopsy is a surgical procedure for detecting the presence of disease within the body. A physician collects and analyzes tissue samples that show possible evidence of illness. A robot-assisted bronchoscopy is simply one in which the surgical team makes use of a medical robot during the operation. Candidates for robot-assisted bronchoscopy are individuals with unusual growths or nodules in their lungs, as revealed by a chest X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan. Additional tests are sometimes performed to verify the patient’s suitability.

Benefits of Robot-Assisted Biopsy

It is important to note that a robotic procedure does not mean being operated on by a machine, rather than a fellow human. Robotic procedures are robot-assisted procedures, where the robot is a group of tools used by a surgeon and his or her medical team to aid in an operation. These tools are called robots because they mimic human motions and movements, sometimes with greater precision than we’re capable of. Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure requiring no incisions. It provides the following benefits:

  • Minimal risk of blood loss or organ damage
  • Decreased risk of infection
  • Improved maneuverability in comparison to human-operated endoscopy
  • Enhanced ability to access hard-to-reach segments of the lung
  • Robotic features that guide the physician during the procedure and decrease the possibility of slippage or error.

How Does Robot-assisted Bronchoscopy Work?

At Baptist Health, robot-assisted bronchoscopies are performed with the aid of the Intuitive Ion Endoluminal system. Intuitive is a leading American manufacturer of medical robots and related equipment. The procedure takes place in several steps:

  • Before operating, the surgeon uploads the patient’s CT scan to Intuitive Ion, which creates a surgery plan from this information. The surgeon will use this plan as his or her roadmap while conducting the biopsy.
  • On the day of the procedure, the patient will be anesthetized. A flexible catheter with surgical instruments and a tiny camera will be inserted in his or her lungs by way of the throat. The surgeon will sit at a console with real-time visuals and guide the movement of the catheter through the lungs by means of robotic controls.
  • Once the robot has identified the target nodule, the surgeon stabilizes the catheter. He or she can then deploy biopsy tools to collect samples from the target. The catheter is withdrawn, and the samples are submitted for analysis. Multiple samples can be collected in a single procedure.

Joining the surgeon and the robot in the operating room are the entire surgical team, including the anesthesiologist, the nurses, and a second surgeon or surgical assistant for moving the robot into positions that aren’t mechanically controlled.

What to Expect with Robot-assisted Bronchoscopy.

Discuss the procedure with your physician beforehand, including any medically necessary steps prior to coming to the hospital. You’ll be anesthetized and wholly unconscious during the operation. In most cases, you’ll be able to go home on the day of the procedure. Be sure to arrange to meet with your physician to discuss the results.

Know Your Risk

Baptist Health is committed to being a leading medical provider of robot-assisted diagnosis and surgery in this region. Early detection is particularly important with lung cancer. Kentucky has the highest incidence of lung cancer in the nation and our efforts align with those of the government’s recently established lung-cancer screening program, which is combating this deadly threat to health of the Bluegrass State. If you have questions or concerns about lung cancer or your cardiopulmonary health, start by taking our online Health Risk Assessment.

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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a major health issue in the United States. This quick lung cancer risk assessment can help you identify your lung cancer risk factors and determine if a lung cancer screening is recommended for you.