Bronchoscopy is a procedure that enables a physician to examine the major air passages of the lungs through a thin lighted tubed called a bronchoscope. This allows the physician to evaluate the lungs and collect small tissue samples, also know as biopsies, to diagnose lung disease and cancer.
Traditional bronchoscopy cannot dependably reach the areas of lung that are deeper in the chest. This results in the use of more invasive surgical procedures to obtain a diagnosis, which can increase risk of complications.
Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy at Torrance Memorial
If an abnormal finding or lesion in the lung has been found through an X-ray, CT-scan or PET-CT scan, Torrance Memorial can offer minimally invasive Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy (ENB) that allows lung specialist to take tissue samples from the lung earlier and potentially more safely than traditional bronchoscopy. It is also a great alternative for patients who suffer from poor lung function and are not candidates for other more invasive surgical diagnostic procedures.
Torrance Memorial is the only medical facility in South Bay offering ENB.
Benefits of Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy
Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy provides the ability to detect lung cancer and lung disease earlier, even before symptoms are evident, enhancing treatment options for patients.
ENB creates a three-dimensional virtual "roadmap" of the lungs from the patient's CT-Scan that enables a Torrance Memorial physician to steer a unique set of catheters through the lungs to reach the targeted lesion in a minimally invasive manner.
ENB can be used with a wide-range of patients including those who suffer from poor lung function or have had cancer surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
How Does Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy Work?
An experienced Torrance Memorial lung specialist locates one or more lesions deep in the lungs on a CT-Scan. That CT-Scan of the lungs is loaded onto a computer and a virtual 3D "roadmap" of the lungs is generated. The physician marks anatomy points of the lungs and the target lesions on the three-dimensional image to map a route for navigation and steerable catheters to travel through the lungs.
A unique set of catheters is then loaded into the bronchoscope before the procedure begins. These catheters have 360-degree steering capabilities to reach lesions as well as an electromagnetic sensor that allows the physician to track the exact location of the catheters in the lungs.
After the patient is comfortably under anesthesia, the physician passes the bronchoscope containing the unique catheters through the mouth, throat and windpipe, and into the lungs. This allows the electromagnetic sensor to be viewed in real-time on the virtual 3D "roadmap" of the lungs to assist the physician in reaching the target lesions.
Once the target lesions are reached, the steering catheter is removed and tiny surgical instruments are passed through the bronchoscope to collect a biopsy from the lesion for testing and diagnosis.
If testing and diagnosis reveal cancerous cells, referral for treatment is made. Torrance Memorial also offers the South Bay community Robotic-assisted Surgery to treat cancer with accuracy.
Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy Recovery & Risks
After the electromagnetic navigation procedure, patients are observed until they are awake enough to return home. The most common risk is collapsed lung, which occurs at a lower rate compared to traditional bronchoscopy.