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Robotic Bronchoscopy Program

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S. and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The reason is that most lung cancers are diagnosed in late stages of the disease. Early detection is a key for survival, especially when the cancer is limited to one area of the lung. A diagnosis of lung cancer often begins when a chest X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan shows a nodule — an area of abnormal tissue — in the lungs.

Lung cancer screening is one way to catch cancer early, when it is still a lung nodule. A more common way of finding a lung nodule occurs while patients are getting lung imaging for other medical problems. Lung nodules that are suspicious or show signs of growth over time often need to be biopsied. 

Yale New Haven Hospital is the first in Connecticut to offer lung biopsy using the most advanced robotic-bronchoscopy technology. The Ion™ system novel shape-sensing technology supports the precision and stability needed to reach and biopsy small nodules even in areas of the lung that were previously inaccessible. Compared with traditional bronchoscopy this advanced robotic-bronchoscopy system improves both success and safety for patients undergoing the procedure. 

Our goal is to diagnose lung cancer as early as possible and significantly reduce the time patients wait to start treatment. At YNHH, highly experienced interventional pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons perform robotic bronchoscopy procedures. Concurrently, their expertise also allows them to perform lymph node staging, which is the process of determining the extent to which the cancer has developed by growing and spreading, so that our patients do not have to return for a second lung procedure.