NGMC successfully performs first ion robotic bronchoscopy

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) reached a significant medical milestone with the completion of its first Ion Robotic Bronchoscopy on a lung cancer patient. The new technology provides the tools to diagnose lung cancer sooner and with more accuracy so patients can receive life-saving treatment earlier.

The procedure was performed at NGMC Gainesville by April McDonald, MD, pulmonologist with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group. The new technology senses the shapes of the airways, assisting the specialist to use natural openings in the body – providing a new approach to lung cancer biopsy, diagnosis and staging.

“This represents a step forward in diagnosing and treating lung cancer with precision and accuracy,” said Dr. McDonald. “By utilizing the precision of robotics, we are now able to target and retrieve tissue samples from deep within the lungs, even in hard-to-reach areas. We don’t have to risk complications such as collapsed lung or pneumothorax – both of which can occur with more invasive approaches, and we have the potential to diagnose and treat earlier so patients have a better chance at beating lung cancer.”

To learn more about cancer services at NGMC, visit