BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville announced Tuesday it is now offering robotic-assisted, minimally invasive biopsies to help better detect lung cancer.

Biopsies involve obtaining a tissue sample from the suspicious area and examining the cells under a microscope to determine if cancer or another disease is present. Northwest Health says with the new system, physicians can obtain samples from deep within the lung while maintaining the stability and precision needed for biopsy.

“This new technology helps address a challenging aspect of lung biopsy by enabling us to obtain tissue samples from deep within the lung,” said Dr. Jason Bailey, pulmonologist at Northwest Pulmonology – Bentonville. “The system features an ultra-thin, ultra maneuverable catheter that allows navigation far into the peripheral lung and also stability enabling the precision we need for biopsies.”

During the “bronchoscopy procedure,” the physician uses a controller to navigate along a planned path in the lung. The catheter can articulate 180 degrees in any direction so it may pass through small, difficult-to-navigate airways and around tight bends to reach all segments of the lung. Once the pulmonary nodule is reached, the catheter locks into place. Next, biopsy tools are inserted through the catheter to take samples of the lung tissue.

“What I like about this technology is that it allows me to stay close to the patient during the procedure so I’m able to monitor their airways the entire time while getting live views of the lung on the system’s screen,” Dr. Bailey said.

For more information about lung cancer and treatment, speak with your pulmonologist or your primary care provider.