Introducing the Ion Endoluminal System

Posted On: January 20, 2023

Ion System for robotic bronchoscopy
Dr. James A. Dean of Pulmonary Associates completed the first robotic bronchoscopy at SMC on Jan. 20.

On Jan. 20, Springhill Medical Center’s Respiratory Therapy Team, led by Dr. James A. Dean of Pulmonary Associates, completed the first robotic bronchoscopy featuring improved imaging for lung biopsy.  

Physicians utilizing the Ion Endoluminal System are able to biopsy nodules as small as .5 cm.  This means early detection for lung cancer patients.

“This technology provides us with the capability to biopsy much smaller nodules with superior localization when comparing Ion to the old system we were using,” explains Dr. Dean.

Ion is designed to address a challenging aspect of lung biopsy by enabling physicians to obtain tissue samples from deep within the lung. The Ion system features an ultra-thin, ultra-maneuverable catheter that allows navigation far into the peripheral lung, and unprecedented stability enables the precision needed for biopsy compared to manual techniques.

During bronchoscopy with Ion, the physician uses the controller to navigate to the target along a planned path. The catheter can articulate 180° in any direction to pass through small, difficult-to-navigate airways and around tight bends to reach all 18 segments of the lung. Ion’s peripheral vision probe provides direct vision during navigation. Once the pulmonary nodule is reached, the catheter locks in place. The Flexision™ biopsy needle, a flexible biopsy needle compatible with Ion, then passes through the catheter. After advancing around tight-radius bends of the catheter, the needle deploys into the target location on a straight path. 

The Ion system is designed to fit easily into a bronchoscopy suite and integrate with existing technologies.  Ion leverages existing imaging technologies with radial EBUS, fluoroscopic, virtual, and live views of the lung unified in a single heads-up display.

Ion is built on more than two decades of leadership in robotic-assisted technology by Intuitive, the maker of the da Vinci surgical system. The Ion endoluminal system allows for more precision, more reach, more stability — and more answers.

“We are truly thrilled to be a leader in this field and look forward to continuing to bring minimally invasive robotic-assisted options to our community” said President/CEO Mr. Jeff St. Clair.

Tags: Cancer, Robotics