Life-Saving Advanced Lung Biopsy Technology to Debut This Fall

For most of us, the simple act of breathing is something we take for granted.  But with lung and bronchus cancers on the rise – according to the CDC they are the number one rate of cancer death in the US – St. Joseph’s Hospital is seeing more and more patients whose lung disease threatens their ability to do so.

That’s why we will be soon be expanding our Lung Program capabilities to include the Monarch Robotic-Assisted Bronchoscopy, making St. Joe’s the only facility in the Tampa Bay area to offer this life-saving technology. This advanced yet minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic tool will enable St. Joe’s thoracic and pulmonology teams to not only find nodules that were previously difficult to detect, but also remove those in previously hard to reach locations Studies show the earlier we can identify and treat lung and bronchus cancers, the better chance our patients have to not only survive, but to thrive.

Generously funded by the Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s and expected to be fully implemented this fall, the Monarch technology offers our patients reduced risk, improved recovery time, and better outcomes – right here in their own backyard.

According to Dr. Michael Alvarez, a pulmonologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital with a special interest in advanced diagnostic bronchoscopy,

“The beauty of the Monarch is that because of its innovative precision and less invasive nature, we can more accurately identify and biopsy concerning lung tissue.  We will be able to use the technology, in combination with surgical removal of additional tissue – all in one streamlined procedure. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Adds Dr. Jonathan Waxman, a thoracic surgeon at St. Joe’s with expertise in minimally invasive surgery, “Being able to provide our patients with this advanced technology means substantially less pain and discomfort for them and a higher likelihood of improved outcomes because of earlier detection. We know they have birthdays to celebrate, vacations to plan, and families to get back to – and having the Monarch at our fingertips means we can help them get back to those things more quickly. It’s a game changer both for us and the people who entrust us with their care.”

Once the medical staff completes the necessary training involved to successfully implement the Monarch’s capabilities, St. Joe’s hopes to begin offering this versatile and cutting-edge technology to our patients as early as this fall and we are excited about the lives that will be changed for the better as a result.