HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Saint Francis Hospital became the first in Connecticut to use a new technology to perform a lung biopsy during a procedure on Tuesday.
The biopsy was conducted with the Ion endoluminal system, which is considered a minimally invasive, robotic-assisted system, according to an announcement from the hospital.
“We are thrilled to be the Connecticut leader in this field,” Saint Francis Hospital President Thomas Burke said in the written announcement. “We are investing in minimally invasive options and leading-edge technology to deliver life-enhancing care to our patients. We are committed to providing our patients with the very best care possible and are proud to be the only hospital in the state to be currently utilizing the Ion system.”
The technology can retrieve tissue samples from deep inside lungs, which can potentially mean that lung cancer will be detected sooner.
Dr. Anil Magge, the director of interventional pulmonology at the hospital, called it a “game changer.”
“It will allow for early detection of cancerous lung nodules or masses with increased precision and accuracy, along with decreased risk of complications,” Magge said in the written announcement. “Given the catheter’s flexibility and shape sensing technology, it allows the ability to biopsy very small nodules in difficult to reach areas in the periphery of the lung that are concerning for cancer. Additionally, the future of this technology is promising.”
That future, Magge said, includes using the technology on patients who are too sick to have cancerous lung nodules removed through surgery.