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TVH launches intuitive surgical ion robotic-assisted program for advanced lung care

TEMECULA – Southwest Healthcare Temecula Valley Hospital (TVH) is the first hospital in Southwest Riverside County to offer life-enhancing lung care technology with the minimally invasive Ion robotic-assisted bronchoscopy platform by Intuitive.

"Temecula Valley Hospital is excited to be the first hospital in the Southwest region of Riverside County to offer the Ion, a robotic-assisted bronchoscopy platform for minimally invasive lung biopsy," said Darlene Wetton, TVH CEO. "Our goal is for all physicians and patients in our region to have access to this technology, with the objective of diagnosing lung cancer at an earlier stage and improving life expectancy of our lung cancer patients."

During the bronchoscopy, a certified physician uses Ion's system to navigate to the target along a pre-planned digital path. Ion's ultrathin robotic catheter allows for advanced maneuverability, giving the physician access to navigate far into the tight airways and deepest segments of the lung.

"The Temecula Valley Hospital lung nodule program is the first of its kind in our region and will change health outcomes by improving our ability to detect, biopsy, diagnose, and treat lung cancers at an earlier stage," said David Lee M.D., Pulmonologist and Program Director of Pulmonology Fellowship at TVH. "The Ion robot offers a minimally invasive procedure allowing us to access lung nodules in hard-to-reach areas of the lung. Combined with our robotic thoracic surgery program, patients with early-stage disease can receive expedited care with a faster recovery. Additionally, as a dedicated training program for the next generation of physicians, the ION will enable our residents and fellows to expand their training on the latest technology."

Joe Lo Duca, Director of Business Development at TVH, added, "Our investment in Ion further compliments our robotic-assisted surgical program, which launched in 2022 with the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system and provides a more comprehensive patient experience from biopsy to surgery. Being able to provide both diagnosis and treatment options at an earlier stage, is crucial to improving outcomes for our patients."

For further information on lung care and services at TVH, visit

Submitted by Southwest Healthcare Temecula Valley Hospital.


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