DuBOIS – The first health system in Central/Western Pennsylvania to offer Monarch robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, Penn Highlands Healthcare is excited to announce Interventional Pulmonary Specialists under the direction of Dr. Sandeep Bansal at the Lung Center, have completed their 200th procedure since introducing this service in July 2019. They are also one of the first in the country to meet this milestone.

Monarch is a new innovation that holds promise to fight lung cancer. Used to view the inside of the lungs and obtain a tissue sample for biopsy, the goal of the Monarch Platform is to enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung.

The technology integrates the latest advancements in robotics, software, data science, and endoscopy (the use of small cameras and tools to enter the body through its natural openings). The Lung Center at Penn Highlands is among the first hospitals in the United States to utilize the platform. Cleared in 2018 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Monarch was the first segment of our rapidly growing Robotics Center built to bring leading-edge technology to Penn Highlands’ patients.

“This advanced technology is important in helping to improve patient outcomes” stated Dr. Bansal, Medical Director of The Lung Center and Interventional Pulmonology at Penn Highlands Healthcare. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, in part because it has no symptoms in its early stages. Because the Monarch Platform provides improved reach, vision and control for bronchoscopic procedures, it holds potential to help physicians to make a diagnosis earlier.

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