How Sutter Health procedure treats lung cancer in 1 day instead of weeks

Sutter Health's California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco is touting a treatment that previously took multiple weeks and several visits for early lung cancer patients, which has been reduced to one day thanks to robotic technology.

With the help of robotic-assisted bronchoscopy technology, the procedure, known as Assisted Single Anesthetic Procedure, allows for medical procedures to be performed back to back during one surgery and "represents a major paradigm shift in how doctors diagnose and treat suspected early-stage lung cancer," according to a Feb. 22 news release from Sutter Health. 

The medical center has completed close to one dozen procedures with the therapy and more are being scheduled, according to Dr. Heba Ismail, director of CPMC's lung cancer program.

"This single protocol is complete in about three to four hours — a stark contrast to the traditional approach necessitating three or more different procedures averaging two hours each, pre- and post-op protocols needed for each procedure, and the resources required for each," she said in the release.

ASAP also cuts hospital stay time because it is minimally invasive. Patients are discharged between 48 and 72 hours after the surgery, the release said. 

"The result for patients potentially means earlier recovery, decreased complications and shorter hospital stays," according to the release.

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