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Endobronchial Ultrasound Bronchoscopy

Endobronchial Ultrasound Bronchoscopy (EBUS) is a relatively new technology used in the diagnosis of lung cancer, lung infections and other diseases that may cause enlarged lymph nodes or masses in the chest. It is performed through a minimally invasive procedure that at The Medical Center can be done on an outpatient basis. It is generally safe and growing in popularity because of its high diagnostic accuracy.

During the procedure a thin, flexible instrument called a bronchoscope that is fitted with an ultrasound probe is used. Under local or general anesthesia the bronchoscope is guided through the patient's mouth or nose into the airway. This technique allows real time imaging of structures in the chest and the lung such as lymph nodes, lung masses and blood vessels. Once an abnormal lesion is identified a thin needle is passed through the bronchoscope and is used to aspirate tissue under direct visualization. This makes it possible to sample small and difficult to reach areas accurately and safely without the need for invasive surgery.

The samples are then analyzed to determine if the tissue is abnormal, and if it is abnormal, the samples are also used to identify the cause of the disease. In cases where cancer is found, we can also identify the type of cancer and whether it has spread to the lymph nodes, making it possible to both diagnose and stage the cancer in one procedure. This helps provide patients with abnormal chest x-rays and CT scans a more accurate and complete diagnosis, reducing the need for multiple and more invasive procedures. It also expedites referrals so that patients can receive the necessary treatment quickly.

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