HMH JFK University now offering most advanced robotic bronchoscopy technology

New system provides better navigation and stability than traditional techniques to obtain lung tissue to test for cancer

Hackensack Meridian JFK University Medical Center announced this week that it now is offering the most advanced robotic bronchoscopy technology available to better address a challenging aspect of lung biopsy.

The hospital’s Ion Bronchoscopy system, a robot-assisted, minimally invasive biopsy platform, enables physicians to better visualize and maneuver deep within the lungs to obtain lung tissue samples.

JFK University Medical Center is the first hospital in central New Jersey to have this technology.

Dr. Faiz Bhora, chair of surgery and chief of thoracic surgery, central region, Hackensack Meridian Health, said Ion Bronchoscopy features an ultrathin, ultramaneuverable catheter that allows navigation far into the lung, reaching smaller airways.

“This platform’s unprecedented stability enables the precision needed for biopsy compared to manual techniques and the ability to diagnose lung cancer at the earliest stage when it is most treatable,” he said.

Using the Ion system, the physician manages a controller to move the bronchoscope with precision. While the physician controls the robotic system, a three-dimensional map of the patient’s lung is shown on a computer screen. This allows the physician to see exactly where the bronchoscope is in the person’s lung, allowing biopsy of very small nodules, and guides the physician to get to the nodule, much like GPS in a car.

This new technology will be part of the Advanced Lung and Airway Center at JFK University Medical Center. This program screens, diagnoses and treats patients with both cancerous and noncancerous disorders that affect breathing. The multidisciplinary team includes world-renowned thoracic surgeons who specialize in advanced robotic surgery for lung cancer, esophageal cancer, mediastinal tumors and other surgical conditions within the chest and trachea.

In addition, the thoracic surgeons collaborate with interventional pulmonologists and ear, nose and throat surgeons to provide specialized care for the most complex airway diseases.

Amie Thornton, the chief hospital executive, said the technology will have impact.

“The Ion Bronchoscopy system allows for greater precision, more reach, more stability and earlier diagnosis to help our team of thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists and oncologists make the best diagnostic and treatment plans,” she said. “We are very pleased to offer this new technology to patients with lung nodules who deserve the absolute best care available today.”