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CHI St. Alexius Performs First Biopsy and Surgery at the Same Time in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – On average, nearly 1,300 people die of cancer in North Dakota each year. An early diagnosis can play a large part in lung cancer survival because it means starting treatment sooner. Not too long ago, CHI St. Alexius started using a robotic bronchoscopy machine, to help.

According to a report from the North Dakota Cancer Control Program, lung cancer was one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer in North Dakota between 2001 and 2018.

Several weeks ago, Dr. Alfredo Iardino, Dr. Peter Mikhail and their team performed both a biopsy and lung surgery in one operation, a first in North Dakota.

“Usually patients, in order to get diagnosed and treated for cancer, will wait about one or two months. Now we’re talking about weeks or days if we do the combined surgery,” said Dr. Iardino, a pulmonologist who practices critical care at CHI St. Alexius.

Dr. Iardino performed the bronchoscopy using this machine. It uses AI to create a pathway through the lungs, leading doctors to the growths they want to check.

In that first procedure, Dr. Iardino found a cancerous lesion. He marked it for Dr. Mikhail with a special dye and two golden pellets. Dr. Mikhail then found those markings and was able to remove the growth, meaning the patient only had to be anesthetized once.

“It’s huge for the community because now, instead of looking at these CAT scans and being like, ‘Okay, let’s just repeat a CAT scan a year from now,’ we’re more inclined to say, ‘Why don’t we biopsy this?’ It’s minimally invasive, there are no scars, no incisions and you can go through the mouth, biopsy it, and if it’s cancer, you can take it out, and it’s curable,” said Dr. Mikhail, who practices cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at CHI St. Alexius.

Both doctors said this procedure has the potential to change the game for lung cancer patients. Being able to diagnose a cancerous lesion and remove it all in one go could make a world’s difference.

Source : KFYR