Riverside, CA (2.8.2022) – Riverside Community Hospital performed the first minimally invasive robotic-assisted lung nodule biopsy procedure in the region on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. This investment in life-enhancing technology, providing a wider-range of comprehensive care to the Inland Empire region, has been the culmination of several energies, including Riverside Community Hospital administration, HCA Healthcare, the hospital’s surgical staff, physicians and medical staff office.

Mahmoud Moammar, MD, pulmonary disease physician at Riverside Community Hospital, performed the first procedure to obtain tissue samples from deep within the patient’s lung, addressing a challenging aspect of lung biopsy. “Traditionally, getting these samples would have required more invasive surgical approaches, up to and including making incisions on the patient’s chest or performing a higher risk procedure,” said Dr. Moammar. “This new outpatient procedure may also help patients avoid subsequent biopsies by enabling a diagnosis through the samples obtained.”

The robotic-assisted technology features an ultra-thin and maneuverable catheter (tube) that allows navigation far into the lung and, with remarkable stability, enables the precision needed for biopsy compared to manual techniques. “Our investment complements our robotic-assisted surgical program, enabling patients to receive all care—from biopsy to surgery—at Riverside Community Hospital,” said Nick Johnson, Vice President of Surgical Services. “In the event of a potentially life-changing diagnosis, using this technology can significantly help reduce diagnosis to treatment time, lead to faster recovery and provide more hope for a successful outcome.” 

“We are beyond excited to add this robotic-assisted procedure to our already extensive oncology service line,” said Jackie Van Blaricum, Chief Executive Officer at Riverside Community Hospital. “Previously, if patients wanted this type of world-class healthcare, they would have to travel outside the Inland Empire.  Being able to offer this new technology is key to early detection, which is key to saving more lives from lung cancer.”  

Photo caption: 

The Riverside Community Hospital GI Lab Team, from left to right:

Melissa Chhum, RN

Julie Reynolds, RN

Araceli Palacios, RN

Brandi Miller, RN

Scott Barnes, GI Technician

Nkechi Ojimaga, RN

Raul Mejia, GI Technician

Melody Herron, RN, Manger GI Lab

Mahmoud Moammar, MD

Hector Simpliciano, CNC GI Lab