Endobronchial Ultrasound 2018-02-21T15:59:02-05:00


Endobronchial Ultrasound is a diagnostic tool for diagnosing different types of lung conditions. Ultrasounds can be used almost anywhere on the body. You are probably familiar with ultrasound use for pregnancy. Ultrasounds are also used to assess the vascular system and can even be used for the lungs. When it comes to lung problems, you may notice symptoms, but your prob lem cannot be diagnosed without a detailed look inside the lungs. The bronchi are very small, and it takes specific tools for you to see inside the lungs and diagnose the problem.

Lung Diseases

There are several lung conditions. Lung cancer is a major one. Smoking and second-hand smoke put you at risk for having lung cancer. Lung cancer is more common than other cancers like breast cancer and colon cancer. The prognosis for lung cancer is not as good as the prognosis for other forms of cancer because it is not typically diagnosed in its early stages. So many people ignore their signs and symptoms. They think their cough is from a cold or maybe they are having breathing problems from other things. Bacteria and viruses also cause lung problems. Some people have benign growths in their lungs which cause problems. No mattter what the case is, it is important to get the treatment you need as soon as possible.

Diagnostic Tools

There are many different tools for diagnosing lung conditions. If you have had pneumonia before or bronchitis, the physician can typically diagnose the problem by listening to you breathe and paying attention to other signs and symptoms of fever and fatigue. You do not need anything put into the lungs. Another diagnostic tool is bronchoscopy. Bronchoscopy is done two different ways. A tube is put through the mouth or nose and inserted down into the lungs. The bronchoscope gives a clear view of the bronchi and alveoli. Through the procedure, a doctor can identify tumors, cysts, nodules, and food that may be stuck in the lungs. The procedure can be done to take a biopsy of the tissues in the lungs. Other scans like X-rays and CT scans are good too. Ultrasounds are extremely beneficial and minimize a lot of risks

Endobronchial Ultrasound Use

There are many reasons why a physician may decide to use an endobronchial ultrasound to diagnose a condition. Endobronchial Ultrasound is a minimally invasive procedure.  Unlike other ultrasounds, it requires the use of an instrument that must be inserted through the mouth. The ultrasound can diagnose a lot of things. Lung cancer has been the primary thing diagnosed through Endobronchial Ultrasounds. Infections and enlarged lymph nodes are also diagnosed through the procedure.

Endobronchial Ultrasound Procedure

To begin the procedure, you are sedated for the purpose of making you more comfortable. A bronchoscope is necessary for the procedure. The physician uses a flexible bronchoscope rather than a rigid bronchoscope. The bronchoscope is connected to an ultrasound device. It is guided through the mouth and trachea to the lungs. The doctor can see images of the lungs at real time. Tumors can also be evaluated. Along with Endobronchial Ultrasound, a  needle aspiration is done. A thin needle is put into abnormal tissues or body fluid. Once the needle is in place, the fluid or tissue is sucked out for the purpose of doing a biopsy. Needle aspiration is used to figure out if cancer has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes or other areas in the lungs.

Why Endobronchial Ultrasound

When diagnosing cancer, a more invasive procedure known as mediastinoscopy is used. The procedure gives physicians access to the chest through a small incision in the neck. A mediastinoscope is inserted into that opening, and a physician can see the lungs and lymph nodes. The tissue and or fluid is removed for the purpose of a biopsy. This procedure requires recovery time and has a lot more risks.

Benefits of Endobronchial Ultrasound

Endobronchial Ultrasound has many benefits, especially when compared to mediastinoscopy. One benefit is the fact that there is no incision needed. Along with that, you can still get tissue and fluids for biopsy. Real-time images of the lungs and airways are taken. You are under general anesthesia, so you do not feel any pain or discomfort. Recovery is very quick. You only have to recover from the sedation, not any incisions. The procedure is very accurate and allows the doctors to diagnose problems very quickly.

Endobronchial Ultrasound is a fairly new procedure that is making cancer diagnosis easier and more efficient. There is no recovery time, and you do not have worry about incisions. Compared to mediastinoscopy it is very beneficial. It is a minimally invasive way to do the same thing. To get a cancer diagnosis, biopsies have to be taken. Endobronchial Ultrasound makes biopsies very quick and precise. If you are suffering from lung cancer or have symptoms of lung problems an Endobronchial Ultrasound may be the


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