Northwest Health – Porter Launches Robotic-Assisted Lung Biopsy Surgery for Early Detection of Lung Cancer: The Leading Cause of Cancer Death in the United States

Northwest Health – Porter Launches Robotic-Assisted Lung Biopsy Surgery for  Early Detection of Lung Cancer: The Leading Cause of Cancer Death in the United States

On March 20, Northwest Health – Porter added robotic-assisted lung biopsies to its comprehensive suite of advanced medical procedures for lung conditions. This innovative technology represents a significant milestone in the early detection and treatment of lung cancer, offering patients a minimally invasive approach to obtaining precise diagnostic information.

Robotic-assisted lung biopsies combine the expertise of Northwest Health’s skilled medical team with the precision and dexterity of advanced robotic technology. This approach allows for targeted samplings of suspicious lung nodules with unprecedented accuracy, enabling earlier detection of lung cancer and other lung conditions, and the development for more personalized treatment strategies.

“Early detection is crucial in the fight against lung cancer,” said Marvi Bikak, MD, quadruple board-certified pulmonologist with Northwest Medical Group. “Robotic-assisted lung biopsies allow for the identification of lung nodules at their earliest stages, when they are most treatable, leading to better outcomes and increased survival rates for patients.”

Dr. Bikak is one of two physicians at Northwest Health who are specifically trained to perform this minimally invasive procedure to identify and provide early treatment options for pulmonary nodules detected by a CT lung scan.

"This technology represents a game-changer in our ability to diagnose lung cancer with precision and efficiency. The system has a thin, maneuverable catheter that can reach suspicious-looking nodules deep within the lung that would otherwise be nearly impossible to reach with a traditional bronchoscopy,” said Dr. Bikak. “By offering patients access to this advanced procedure, we are empowering them to take control of their health and improve their chances of successful treatment."

According to Dr. Bikak, the key benefits of robotic-assisted lung biopsies include:

  • Enhanced Precision: The high-definition imaging and precise maneuverability of the robotic system enables physicians to precisely target and biopsy suspicious lesions deep within the lungs, improving diagnostic accuracy and reducing the need for repeat procedures.
  • Enhanced Safety: Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy provides greater stability and control during procedures, reducing the risk of complications and allowing for safer navigation in challenging anatomical locations.
  • Personalized Treatment: With robotic technology, we can better tailor treatment plans to each patient's specific needs, optimizing outcomes and promoting faster recovery.

“Northwest Health remains committed to leveraging the latest advancements in medical technology to provide our community with the highest standard of care,” said James Leonard, DO, Chief Executive Office, Northwest Health - Porter. “The introduction of robotic-assisted lung biopsies underscores our dedication to improving patient outcomes and advancing the fight against lung cancer.”

Northwest Health offers a CT Lung Cancer Screening Program to detect the presence of lung nodules in people with a high risk of lung cancer. A lung cancer CT screening is a regular preventive health check, like a mammogram or a colonoscopy, and is recommended for adults who are longtime smokers and don’t have any sign or symptoms of lung cancer. CT lung cancer screenings are available at all three Northwest Health hospital locations. To learn more, visit

About Northwest Health

Northwest Health is a comprehensive healthcare system committed to providing communities in Northwest Indiana with high-quality, accessible healthcare—from highly specialized care and surgical services to more routine primary care. The system of more than 60 access points includes three hospitals, five emergency departments, urgent care centers, outpatient surgery centers, an ambulance service, and physician offices. A team of more than 3,000 employees work together with the more than 700 physicians on its medical staffs. Northwest Health is owned in part by physicians. For more information, visit