Minimally-Invasive Lung Biopsy Technology at Archbold

The Ion Endoluminal System is a platform used to perform robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, a procedure physicians use to look at your lungs and air passages. It is most often used to biopsy a lung nodule to determine if it’s benign or cancerous.

This new technology enables physicians to obtain tissue samples (also called biopsies) from deep within the lung. This can allow for early-stage diagnosis of lung cancer when it is most treatable.

What is a lung biopsy?

If a spot on your lung, commonly called a small mass or nodule, has been found, you may need to have it checked out further. This test is called a lung biopsy. Fewer than 5% of nodules are actually cancer, but your doctor may recommend you find out for sure.

A biopsy involves obtaining a tissue sample from the suspicious area and examining the cells under a microscope to determine if cancer or another disease is present. There are a number of ways to obtain tissue for biopsy. The biopsy approach recommended for patients depends on the size of the nodule, the location within the lung and overall health.

How does the Ion Endoluminal System work?

The ultra-thin catheter and integrated vision probe provide the physician with direct vision to reach all parts of the lungs. The shape-sensing technology provides precise location and shape information throughout the whole biopsy process. The system holds the catheter in place for the precise placement of biopsy tools. The catheter can move 180° in all directions and the Flexision™ biopsy needle, a flexible biopsy needle compatible with Ion, helps enable the biopsy.

What should you expect during the procedure?

During robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, your physician guides an ultra-thin catheter through your airway to the area of your lung for biopsy. The small, flexible catheter 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 insert biopsy tools through the catheter to take a sample of your lung tissue.