On Feb. 24, the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital became the first VA medical facility to offer Veteran patients a new robotic-assisted, minimally invasive intervention for acquiring diagnostic biopsies of the lung.
The new Ion robotic system features an ultra-thin, extremely maneuverable catheter that allows pulmonologists to navigate farther into the lungs than ever before for extremely precise respiratory biopsies.
“We are very excited and proud to be able to offer this level of care to our Veterans,” said Satish Kalanjeri, MD. Kalanjeri is chief of Interventional Pulmonology at Truman VA. “We’ve been very active in modernizing our facilities and services. With this technology, we are able to provide a level of pulmonary care second to none.”
The new robotic system features a vision probe that directs the pulmonologist in real-time through airways in the lungs to specific target areas. A fiber optic sensor measures the patient’s breathing tubes hundreds of times per second to provide additional placement information.
A fully articulating catheter and flexible needle also make it possible for the device to move 180 degrees in all directions for precise biopsies and other diagnostic interventions.
The green line is the catheter going through the airways of the lungs, the gray tubular images
“We often prefer minimally invasive techniques because they usually result in fewer complications and quicker recoveries,” said Jeremy Johnson, MD, Chief of Specialty Care at Truman VA.
“However, even with endoscopic technology, we as pulmonologists have been limited as to how far into the airways of the lungs we can go for diagnostic purposes,” he added. “This new robotic platform allows us greater access to the airways of the lungs. It provides stability while sampling target lesions.”
Pictured above, Kalanjeri (right) and Johnson confirm the target location using a 3D Cone-Beam CT system and Augmented Fluoroscopy.
“This is a huge leap forward in pulmonary care,” said Patricia Hall, medical center director of Truman VA. “With this technology, we will be able to diagnose cancerous lesions earlier and with greater accuracy. I view the acquisition of this new system as just one example of our commitment to bringing innovative and advanced technologies to mid-Missouri for the benefit of our nation’s heroes.”
About Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital
As an academic health center, Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital commits to excellent patient care, education and research. Truman VA offers a full continuum of inpatient and outpatient health services. It serves Veterans from 43 counties in Missouri, as well as Pike County, Illinois.
Approximately 40,000 Veterans receive health care at Truman VA each year. Comprehensive services include primary care, medical and surgical specialties, behavioral health, physical and occupational therapy, pharmacy services and more.
As a referral center, Truman VA also provides cardiovascular care to include open heart surgery. Additionally, Truman VA outpatient clinic appointments exceed 400,000 visits annually. For more information, visit https://www.columbiamo.va.gov/.
Jeff Hoelscher is a public affairs officer for the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital.