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Endobronchial Ultrasound 

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A Minimally Invasive Tool For Diagnosing Lung Cancer

A technological breakthrough is helping patients with lung and lymph node tumors to be more accurately diagnosed so treatment can begin sooner. With a new, minimally invasive endobronchial ultrasound procedure at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, known as EBUS, doctors are able to diagnose patients with lung cancers before any surgery begins.

Often a diagnosis of cancer cannot be confirmed without invasive diagnostic surgery. A new technology breakthrough called endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is offering patients a less invasive alternative for evaluating the airways and diagnosing lung and lymph node tumors.

Outpatient, No Incisions Required EBUS involves no incisions. Patients receive only conscious sedation for this outpatient procedure, making it a good choice for patients at high risk for invasive diagnostic surgery. This minimally invasive diagnostic tool is useful for patients with possible cancers in their lymph nodes. Previously, patients with concerning lymph nodes would most often have to undergo surgery to get a correct diagnosis.

The physician uses a bronchoscope equipped with an ultrasound device that is threaded through the patient's nose or mouth into the airways of the lungs. Doctors are able to see "real-time" ultrasound images that guide them to where to take the biopsy that tests for cancer as well as other diseases.

Lung cancer kills more Americans than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. With new technology such as EBUS, physicians are able to continue to make strides toward diagnosing and treating lung cancers as quickly as possible.

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