If you experience lung pain or discomfort, your doctor may recommend a pulmonary endoscopy test to determine the source of your symptoms.
What to Expect When You Have a Pulmonary Endoscopy
If you’re experiencing certain pulmonary symptoms, your doctor may perform a type of pulmonary endoscopy called a bronchoscopy. Bronchoscopy is conducted with a device that allows doctors to see inside your body. An endoscope is a long, thin tube with a camera and a light attached to one end. It also includes an open channel through which medical tools can pass to collect tissue samples for biopsies.
A bronchoscope can be inserted through the nose or mouth. A local or general anesthetic will be administered to encourage relaxation and reduce discomfort during the procedure. In addition to taking samples, a bronchoscopy can also be used to remove tumors in the lung via cutting tools, electric currents, lasers or light-sensitive chemicals.
Endobronchial Ultrasound Bronchoscopy
To get a better look at your bronchi—the airways leading to your lungs—your physician may perform an endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) bronchoscopy. This diagnostic procedure is conducted using a bronchoscope equipped with an ultrasound probe to create images of your lungs and surrounding lymph nodes. EBUS bronchoscopy allows pulmonologists to accurately assess areas of concern from previous scans or X-rays that require a closer look.
This procedure uses a special type of bronchoscope to reach areas of the lungs that traditional bronchoscopes cannot access. Using electromagnetic technology and real-time computerized tomography (CT) [crosslink], doctors can generate a three-dimensional map of the lungs. With this guide in hand, they can access hard-to-reach regions of the lung that require removal or targeted radiation.