WellStar Kennestone Hospital is now offering respiratory patients endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS). The procedure is an extension of traditional bronchoscopy but utilizes a bronchoscope containing an ultrasound probe. The ultrasound allows the pulmonlologist to visualize masses and lymph nodes within the lungs.
The technology allows the lung physician to biopsy masses in the chest using continuous ultrasound guidance. Medical studies have proven that this procedure increases the probability of obtaining a diagnosis and minimizes complications. Endobronchial ultrasound-guided bronchoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure and often prevents the need for more invasive surgical procedures.
EBUS was started at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in July of 2007 under the direction of Dr. Coy Lassiter of Georgia Lung Associates. “Endobronchial ultrasound is a remarkable innovation that allows us to better serve our patients by diagnosing diseases of the lung and chest in a minimally invasive manner,” says Dr. Coy Lassiter, M.D. of GA Lung Associates.
During the procedure, the endobronchial ultrasound scope is passed through the mouth and follows the trachea into the airways of the lung. The ultrasound is then utilized to visualize and guide biopsies of lung masses or lesions. The procedure takes about 45 minutes requiring the concerted efforts of a respiratory therapist, nurse and pulmonary physician. Biopsy results are typically available 48-72 hours following the procedure.