September 25, 2019 – El Camino Health’s Mountain View Hospital announced it was the first in the world to perform a commercial case utilizing the minimally invasive peripheral lung biopsy Ion Endoluminal Robotic Bronchoscopy System. El Camino Health conducted its first procedures this month using the new system which was approved for commercial use by the FDA in February 2019.
This major medical advancement by Sunnyvale, California-based Intuitive offers doctors unprecedented stability enabling the precision needed for biopsy far into the peripheral lung and to more easily diagnose lung cancer earlier than ever before. The Ion system features an ultra-thin, easily maneuverable catheter that can move 180 degrees in all directions which doctors can navigate through small and tortuous airways to reach nodules in any airway segment within the lung. The system’s flexible biopsy needle can also pass through very tight bends via the catheter to collect tissue in the peripheral lung, enabling a more precise biopsy and easier surgical experience for patients.
“El Camino Health has been a leader in performing minimally invasive pulmonary procedures. The addition of the Ion system will enable us to visualize and precisely biopsy lung nodules,” says Ganesh Krishna, MD, medical director of El Camino Health’s Interventional Pulmonology Program and a doctor at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, part of Sutter Health. “Our goal is to catch lung cancer at an early stage so we can deliver intelligent interventions and increase survival rates.”
The Ion system is designed to access difficult to reach areas of the lung through natural openings, like the mouth. When used for lung cancer screening, it supports early diagnosis by sampling tissue from small nodules in hard to reach areas of the lung where previous tools and procedures were unable to achieve.
“The Ion system represents Intuitive’s continued commitment to innovating for minimally invasive care, and extends our focus beyond surgery,” said Intuitive Surgical CEO Gary Guthart. “At Intuitive, we innovate for need, and lung cancer is clearly a global health challenge that requires new modalities of care. We are pleased the procedure is now available through care centers like El Camino Health.”
The Interventional Pulmonology Program at El Camino Health offers advanced diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, including airway recanalization, clinical trials, confocal endomicroscopy, electromagnetic navigation guided (EMN) bronchoscopy, endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), transbronchial cryobiopsy and now robotic-assisted bronchoscopy. For lung nodules that are found to be cancerous, El Camino Health’s Interventional Pulmonology Program and Cancer Center use the combined expertise of pulmonologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists to aggressively treat the disease. With this approach, they have achieved outstanding outcomes for five-year survival rates for lung cancer.
About Ion Endoluminal Robotic Bronchoscopy Platform
Intuitive (Nasdaq: ISRG), headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., is the pioneer and a global leader in robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery. At Intuitive, we believe that minimally invasive care is life-enhancing care. Through ingenuity and intelligent technology, we expand the potential of physicians to heal without constraints. Intuitive brings more than two decades of leadership in robotic-assisted surgical technology and solutions to its offerings, and develops, manufactures and markets the da Vinci® surgical system and the Ion ™ endoluminal system.
About El Camino Health
El Camino Health includes two nonprofit acute care hospitals in Los Gatos and Mountain View and urgent care, multi-specialty care and primary care locations across Santa Clara County. Hospital key medical specialties include cancer, heart and vascular, lifestyle medicine, men’s health, mental health and addictions, mother-baby, orthopedic and spine, pulmonology, stroke and urology. Affiliated partners include Silicon Valley Medical Development, El Camino Health Foundation and Concern.