Lovelace Medical Center performs hospital’s first Ion robotic, lung biopsy procedure

ALBUQUERQUE – July 3, 2024 – Lovelace Medical Center (LMC) has performed its first robotic-assisted bronchoscopy using the Ion Endoluminal System (Ion) platform for minimally invasive biopsy of the lung. The Ion procedure was completed by Jeffrey Mazer, MD, Lovelace Medical Group pulmonologist, which allowed him to navigate to nodules in all 18 segments of the lung and remove tissue for biopsy with precision and accuracy. This results is less risk for patients than a traditional biopsy technique and a higher likelihood that tissue samples obtained during the procedure will provide physicians with information needed to establish a diagnosis.

“The Ion system’s precision and flexibility allows us to navigate through the lung to more accurately biopsy the tissue, meaning we can provide earlier diagnoses than we could before on hard-to-reach nodules,” said Dr. Mazer. “This new technology makes it easier for us to care for patients with lung abnormalities, detect cancer earlier and improve outcomes for our patients.”

During an Ion bronchoscopy, a camera leads the catheter to the nodule, remaining steady and adjusting with the patient’s breath. Because it uses robotic technology, rather than a human to hold in place, the new technology allows the guiding catheter to remain stable and more still. Physicians can plan their procedures using a CT scan of the patients’ lungs to create a path to the pulmonary nodule. Ion’s Biopsy Marker also enables team members to biopsy the targeted area, track the number of biopsies and visualize alternative biopsy pathways.

“Lovelace Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality of care to our patients, close to home, without having to travel out of state for the latest technology,” said Brian Miller, chief executive officer for LMC. “The Ion gives our clinical team the ability to detect lung cancer earlier and improve outcomes for our patients.”

For more information on the Ion system, please visit To learn more about LMC and its commitment to state-of-the-art surgical treatment with quality and compassionate care, please visit




Whitney Alcantar, Lovelace Health System  
Phone: 505.903.0367 

Lovelace Medical Center
Lovelace Medical Center (LMC), located in the heart of Albuquerque, is a 263-bed acute care hospital with over 1,100 employees providing comprehensive care, including around-the-clock emergency care, surgical services, non-invasive robotic spine surgery, cardiology, stroke care, radiology and oncology services. LMC was recently named to U.S. News & World Report High Performing Best Hospitals, in Heart Attack, Heart Bypass surgery, Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, Stroke and COPD got 2022 -2023 and received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for 2023 for the 11th consecutive year. LMC earned Spine Surgery Program Certification from DNV for 2022- 2025 by demonstrating excellence in orthopedic surgery, including diagnosis and treatments in spine surgery as well as Primary Stroke Center Certification from DNV for 2022 – 2025 for its readiness to handle a full range of stroke-related medical problems. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awarded LMC, one of only 249 programs in the world, the Practice Transitional Accreditation Program (PTAP) for 2023, signifying that the hospital is following best practices and utilizing an evidence-based curriculum that is focused on helping the new graduate nurse transition from student nurse into professional nursing practice. To learn more about the state-of-the-art treatment options, innovative health care providers and award-winning quality initiatives at Lovelace Medical Center, visit