Las Palmas Medical Center first hospital in El Paso to launch robotic biopsy


Courtesy of Las Palmas Medical Center

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Las Palmas Medical Center now a home to a new robotic tool for biopsies that require work in hard-to-reach spots in the lungs.

The new robotic system, the Ion Endoluminal System, utilizes advanced imaging technology to help physicians obtain tissue samples from areas deep within the lungs that can be challenging to access with older tools.

“The innovative technology, which is the first of its kind for our city, provides us with better access and increased precision to the lungs, which can produce quicker results and may help avoid additional biopsies,” said Hector Flores, cardiothoracic surgeon at Las Palmas Medical Center. “The lung can be one of the most difficult places to biopsy, thus this robotic-assisted approach is an advancement that Las Palmas Medical Center is proud to offer to El Pasoans.”

The system features a thin and ultra-maneuverable catheter that allows navigation far into the lungs.

During a bronchoscopy procedure, physicians can use a control to navigate to the target area. The catheter can move 180 degrees in any direction to pass through small, difficult-to-navigate airways and around tight bends to reach all portions of the lung.

A probe provides peripheral and direct vision during navigation. Once the catheter reaches the pulmonary nodule, it locks into place, and the flexible biopsy needle passes through the catheter.

Physicians conduct biopsies to confirm a diagnosis after a mass or nodule is discovered in the lungs.

The needle is then deployed into the target location to get a sample of the lung tissue for further analysis. The cells can be examined under a microscope to determine if cancer or another disease is present.

A traditional biopsy approach usually depends on the size of the nodule, the location within the lung and a person’s overall health.

The new robotic technology replaces existing approaches as it promises increased precision, more access to the lungs, and faster results, which, in turn, can quickly provide patients with treatment.

The Ion Endoluminal Systems adds to the robotic surgeries and procedures that the Las Palmas Healthcare Center already offers.

To learn more about the new technology, visit

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