Transforming lung nodule diagnostics

We are the first private hospital in Europe to offer the Ion™ platform, giving us the ability to diagnose previously difficult to reach lung nodules. The Ion™ platform will allow accurate, and prompt diagnosis of abnormalities in the lung caused by cancer, inflammation or infection that are not accessible by other means.

In the past, treatment pathways would often require a ‘watch and wait’ period which could last for months, leaving you with the stress of not knowing whether your lung nodule is cancerous or not. Sometimes, this question can only be answered by undergoing major surgery. The Lung Nodule Clinic helps to simplify this, as patients are able to directly request this service rather than needing medical referral.

This step forward in lung diagnostics takes the time to diagnosis from months to days, reducing the time spent anxiously waiting for results. Improving the time to diagnosis is important because, even though fewer than 5% of nodules are cancerous1, early diagnosis allows access to more effective treatment2.

Why visit our clinic?

Early-stage cancers are small and can be located anywhere in the lung, but are most often found in the outer third and in difficult-to-reach locations1 conventional methods can struggle to access.

If your physician finds a spot on your lung (often referred to as a mass or nodule), they may recommend you have it checked via a lung biopsy, which previously involved a needle passing through your skin and rib cage to take a tissue sample from the suspicious area inside your lungs.

Ion™ is a pain-free alternative, that can reach and biopsy much smaller nodules than ever before, meaning small lung nodules can now be biopsied safely and painlessly, with faster results, without the need for a painful invasive procedure.

Ion™ will also be complemented by our state-of-the-art linear endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS). This platform helps to ensure complete cancer diagnosis and staging in a single setting, avoiding multiple visits and delays in treatment. 

How Ion™ helps to optimise the assessment of your lung nodule

More reach3,4
Helping to access previously difficult to reach nodules. Ion’s ultra-thin robotic catheter and advanced manoeuvrability allow navigation far into the peripheral lung, improving access to peripheral lung nodules.

More stability5,6
Helping to reduce complications, with significant improvements over CT guided needle biopsy. Ion's fibre optic shape-sensing technology provides active robotic catheter positioning control.

More precision7
Helping to achieve favourable diagnostic yields. Ion’s articulating catheter and flexible needle enable accurate biopsy - even in difficult-to-reach nodules outside airways.

Meet the team

Tom Routledge

Mr Tom Routledge

Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Consultant George Santis

Professor George Santis

Consultant Respiratory Physician

How to refer

If you would like to know more about this service, or have a patient that would benefit from it, please contact us at 

1 Horeweg, N., et al. (2013). Am J Respir Crit Care Med 187(8): 848-854
2 UICC 8th Edition (Proposal), J Thorac Oncol. 2016 Jan;11(1):39-51   
3 Diddams, M.J.; Lee, H.J. Robotic Bronchoscopy: Review of Three Systems. Life 2023, 13, 354.
4 Comparison to reach are relative to manual bronchoscope. Reach is defined by airway generation access. Results based on internal testing at Intuitive.
5 Comparisons of precision and stability are relative to manual techniques. Stability is enabled by fiber optic sensing technology which maintains active robotic control of catheter position and corrects unwanted tip deflection. Results based on internal testing at Intuitive.
6 Simoff MJ, et. al.  Shape-sensing robotic-assisted bronchoscopy for pulmonary nodules: initial multicenter experience using the Ion™ Endoluminal System.
7 Robotic distal tip articulation allows physicians to aim the catheter at small targets even when located outside the airways. Results based on internal testing at Intuitive

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