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What All You Need to Know About Endobronchial Ultrasound

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What All You Need to Know About Endobronchial Ultrasound

Pulmonology | Posted on 05/18/2023 by RBH



Overview

Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) has become an essential method for medical professionals for diagnosing, stage, and managing several lung diseases, particularly lung cancer. This minimally invasive procedure allows healthcare professionals for real-time visualization and targeted sampling, aiding in appropriate diagnosis and planning treatment for the patient. 

EBUS averts the want for more invasive surgical procedures for tissue sampling or assessing lung and mediastinal lesions. During the EBUS procedure, the physician can involve performing fine-needle aspiration (FNA) or biopsy techniques to gather samples of suspicious tissues or lymph nodes for further evaluation. 

In this blog, we will cover everything that’s related to EBUS procedure so make sure to give it a read till the end. Kindly note that it is for informational purposes only and doesn’t rule out the doctor’s consultation.

What is an endobronchial ultrasound?

An endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a medical procedure used for visualizing and evaluating structures within the airways and lungs. It combines bronchoscopy involving the insertion of a bronchoscope through the mouth or nose and into the airways using ultrasound technology.

The EBUS procedure consents physicians to evaluate the size, location, and characteristics of anomalies within the airways like tumors or nodules. It is commonly used for diagnosing lung cancer, staging lung cancer to determine the extent of its spread, and evaluating enlarged lymph nodes for the possible presence of cancer.

What are the advantages of endobronchial procedure ultrasound?

Endobronchial procedures offer various advantages over traditional surgeries which includes:

  • Reduced invasiveness
  • Shorter recovery times 
  • Decreased risk of complications. 

What to expect during the endobronchial ultrasound?

A special type of ultrasound during an endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) procedure is used to assess the airways and structures within the chest. Here's what one can usually expect during an EBUS procedure:

  • Preparation: The patient might be asked to refrain from eating or drinking the night before the procedure, however, generally it is hours. The patient also has to remove any kind of dental accessories if there are any. 
  • Anesthesia: The EBUS procedure is performed under anesthesia. The purpose is to use numbing medication to reduce discomfort for the patient.

What happens during the EBUS procedure?

There are certain steps followed before the EBUS test which involve:

  • Positioning: Following the process, the patient is asked to lie on an examination table, usually in a position providing optimal access to the airways. The medical team assists patients to get into the right position i.e. lying on the back or side.
  • Insertion of the bronchoscope: A bronchoscope is inserted through the patient’s nose or mouth and down their throat. It consents the doctor to view the airways and initiate the ultrasound.
  • Ultrasound probe insertion: A specialized ultrasound probe is inserted through the bronchoscope after it is placed correctly. This probe emits sound waves creating detailed pictures of the chest structures, like lungs, lymph nodes, and surrounding tissues.
  • Imaging and sample collection: The ultrasound images are displayed on a monitor, allowing the doctor to guide the probe to the desired examination areas. If needed, the doctor might involve the use of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) or biopsy tools through the bronchoscope for gathering tissue samples or fluid for further testing.

What happens after the EBUS procedure?

There are various probable outcomes and subsequent steps that may happen after an Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) procedure. The main course of action relies on the purpose of the procedure and the findings during the EBUS. Here is what happens after the procedure:

  • Diagnosis: After the EBUS procedure it becomes easier to diagnose lung conditions, such as lung cancer or infections. Following the process, the samples collected like fluid samples are sent to the lab for examination. The results are useful in determining the underlying condition and guiding further treatment.
  • Treatment planning: If the EBUS procedure confirms the lung cancer or another condition requiring medical intervention, the outcomes can prove to be useful for planning the treatment. It usually involves conversing with an oncologist, pulmonologist, or other specialists for determining the right course of action, like surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or targeted therapy.
  • Follow-up procedures: in certain cases, additional procedures are suggested depending on the EBUS findings. For instance, if there is any suspicious nodule identified, then there might be a recommendation for a follow-up procedure such as a CT-guided biopsy for a definitive diagnosis and treatment.
  • Monitoring and surveillance: Monitoring and frequent follow-ups are typically required after the proper diagnosis and treatment. It might involve imaging scans including CT scans or PET scans, for evaluating the response to treatment, monitoring disease progression, or detecting any probability of recurrence.
  • Symptom management: EBUS procedure is also useful for palliative care, like relieving air blockage, or managing the symptoms among patients experiencing advanced lung cancer. In certain cases, the focus might be shifted to the management of symptoms, supportive care, and discussing the quality of life. 
  • EBUS can also be used for palliative purposes, such as relieving airway obstruction or managing symptoms in patients with advanced lung cancer. In such cases, the focus may shift to symptom management, supportive care, and discussions about quality of life.

Conclusion

Endobronchial procedures have considerably advanced the respiratory medicine field by offering the options of minimally invasive procedures to diagnose, stage, and treat several airway disorders. With constant developments in technology and techniques, these procedures continue to emerge providing promising outcomes and enhanced quality of life for patients with respiratory conditions. If your doctor has recommended you endobronchial procedure, then consult Rukmani Birla Hospital, one of the finest multispeciality hospitals in Jaipur for the best outcomes.

FAQs

 

What is a bronchoscopy with EBUS?

EBUS bronchoscopy is a procedure performed for diagnosing varied types of lung disorders which include cancer, inflammation, or infections. 

Is EBUS biopsy painful?

No, EBUS biopsy is not painful as it is a minimally advanced invasive procedure

Is EBUS risky?

EBUS is not risky but one of the safest procedures and there is very less risk of complications.