Hope for Lung Cancer Patients

For the first time, Bayhealth Medical Center is offering a state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging procedure that enables physicians to make more precise and accurate diagnoses of lung cancer and related diseases — without invasive diagnostic surgeries.

Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) combines ultrasound with endoscopy to obtain images in and around the bronchial tree of the lungs. EBUS is especially helpful in diagnosing lung cancer, Sarcoidosis, infections, and other pulmonary diseases. During the EBUS procedure, the pulmonologist inserts a “special” bronchoscope into the airways and lungs where ultrasound is utilized to detect the presence of abnormal tissues, masses or enlarged lymph nodes that may indicate lung cancer.

“In the past, it was sometimes necessary for surgeons to perform open surgeries known as mediastinoscopies, where an incision is made in the neck and lymph nodes are removed for biopsies. Obviously, the EBUS procedure will diminish the need for invasive diagnostic surgeries, and therefore eliminate pain and recovery time for patients,” said Bayhealth Pulmonologist Alejandro Sardi, MD, who has been specially trained in performing Endobronchial Ultrasound.

“The EBUS can reach more lymph node areas of the lungs than the traditional surgical approach for sampling lymph nodes in the chest. The EBUS is also more sensitive in detecting abnormal lymph nodes than CT-scans,” said Dr. Sardi.

Dr. Sardi says EBUS allows the pulmonologist to see beyond the bronchial wall to the diseased tissue, lymph nodes and/or lesions, and also extract cells for accurate biopsies. Therefore, it can be used in diagnosis and in identifying the “stage” of lung cancer and other diseases that cause enlarged lymph nodes in the chest. EBUS will help determine how advanced a cancer has become (stage) and which treatment would be most appropriate. This is the first time the procedure is available in southern Delaware.

“Our patients will no longer need to travel for this procedure which not only is more convenient for the patient but also assists in staging and diagnosing lung cancers as well as other pulmonary disorders,” said Endoscopy Nurse Manager Suellen Wilkins, MSN, CPAN, CCRN.

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