Pulmonologists | Spartanburg South Carolina
Appointments: 864-573-6320

Ultrasound-Guided Biopsies

Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS)

Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a relatively new procedure used in the diagnosis of lung cancer, infections, and other diseases causing enlarged lymph nodes in the chest. Currently, UC San Diego Health System is proud to be one of the few centers on the West Coast to offer EBUS, a minimally invasive procedure that has proven highly effective.

Why is it used?

EBUS allows physicians to perform a technique known as transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) to obtain tissue or fluid samples from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes without conventional surgery. The samples can be used for diagnosing and staging lung cancer, detecting infections, and identifying inflammatory diseases that affect the lungs, such as sarcoidosis or other cancers like lymphoma.

What makes EBUS different

During the conventional diagnostic procedure, surgery known as mediastinoscopy is performed to provide access to the chest. A small incision is made in the neck just above the breastbone or next to the breastbone. Next, a thin scope, called a mediastinoscope, is inserted through the opening to provide access to the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes. Tissue or fluid is then collected via biopsy.

During an endobronchial ultrasound:

  • The physician can perform needle aspiration on lymph nodes using a bronchoscope inserted through the mouth
  • A special endoscope fitted with an ultrasound processor and a fine-gauge aspiration needle is guided through the patient’s trachea
  • No incisions are necessary