NCH First in Collier to Offer Cutting-Edge Ion Lung Biopsy Technology

Paul Hiltz, President/CEO, FACHE

I am proud to announce that NCH has recently positioned itself at the forefront of medical innovation by becoming the first healthcare provider in the area to offer the game-changing Ion technology from Intuitive for lung biopsy procedures.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and earlier detection can make a critical difference in patient outcomes for a disease that takes an estimated 1.8 million lives a year. Diagnosing the condition often requires biopsy of lung nodules, approximately 70% of which may be located in the outer third of the lung in areas full of tight spaces and narrow airways that are hard to reach.

Ion, developed by Intuitive, represents a revolutionary leap in the field of lung biopsies, promising enhanced precision and efficiency. Ion’s ability to navigate to small nodules and enable precise biopsies may help patients get answers, potentially enabling more time to consider treatment options. This state of-the-art technology is poised to redefine the standards of care for patients in Southwest Florida, setting a new benchmark in diagnostic accuracy and safety.

Ion works by translating a CT scan of the patient’s lung to build a 3D model to map a pathway to the nodules that need biopsy. Using this detailed map, a physician can navigate the ultrathin robotic catheter into the lung during the procedure. Ion’s fully articulating catheter enables doctors to reach deep into the lungs in order to obtain a tissue sample to aid diagnosis. The combination of small catheter diameter and stability gives surgeons using Ion access to small nodules in hard-to-reach places that could allow biopsies to, in some cases, reveal cancer.

We are thrilled to introduce Ion to our community, reinforcing NCH’s commitment to delivering the highest quality healthcare through cutting-edge technology. This advanced system not only enhances the precision of lung biopsy procedures, but also contributes to quicker recovery times and improved patient outcomes.

As the first healthcare facility in the area to adopt Ion, NCH continues its tradition of leading-edge healthcare, ensuring that the community has access to the latest and most effective medical technologies available. For information, please visit or

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