The Advantages of Navigational Bronchoscopy
From a chronic cough, to symptoms indicating interstitial lung disease, to abnormal X-ray findings (sometimes as a result of lung cancer screening), there are a number of reasons why a doctor may order a bronchoscopy. This type of procedure allows your physician to look inside your airway through a video camera, internally examine the lungs for abnormalities, and obtain tissue samples to aid in diagnosis and treatment.
Fortunately, as a result of advances in medical technology, a newer, more advanced bronchoscopy procedure can now be performed with less complications and greater precision. Using a state-of-the-art bronchoscopy technology called Navigational Bronchoscopy, doctors can access even the most distant regions of the lungs to detect and biopsy even the smallest lesions. It is best suited for lung nodules (“spot” on the lung) that may have been seen on an X-ray or CAT-scan.
In this blog, NYC pulmonologist (lung specialist), Dr. Marc Bowen, will address what navigational bronchoscopy (electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy) is, how it works and what advantages it offers over traditional bronchoscopy.
What is bronchoscopy used for?
Bronchoscopy is used in order to gain a detailed view from inside a patient’s airway using a thin, flexible endoscopic video camera device called a bronchoscope. The procedure provides direct visualization of the throat, larynx, trachea and lower airways in order to examine whether abnormalities are present, such as tumors, bleeding, infection, or inflammation. In addition, bronchoscopy may be used to obtain tissue biopsy samples for diagnosing lung diseases like lung cancer, infections, or fibrosis.
How does navigational bronchoscopy (electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy) work?
Navigational bronchoscopy, also known as electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy or an ENB procedure, is a type of advanced bronchoscopy that is performed using the latest technology, which works like a GPS system. Using this electromagnetically guided technology, NYC pulmonologist Dr. Bowen can create a detailed three-dimensional roadmap of the lungs, allowing him to examine, diagnose and biopsy lung disorders and diseases previously not possible with standard bronchoscopy.
The procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube (a bronchoscope) through a patient’s airway and into the lungs. The bronchoscope has a video camera with a bright light at the end so that the doctor can closely inspect the airway and gather detailed images of any abnormalities. Once the tube is in place, specially designed tools can be inserted, under three-dimensional electromagnetic guidance, to take a tissue sample for testing.
The precision and accuracy afforded by the ENB technology means that Dr. Bowen can access even the smallest lung lesions in the most distant regions of the lungs, where he can introduce tools to biopsy and stage lesions. If needed, he can also place markers to guide thoracic surgeons and radiation oncologists to the site of the cancer.
Where is the procedure performed?
Dr. Bowen performs navigational bronchoscopy procedures in a hospital setting. The procedure typically takes between 60 to 90 minutes to complete. Most patients are able to go home the same day as the procedure.
What are the advantages of navigational bronchoscopy?
At MXBowen, Physician, P.C., Health & Breathing Center, we are pleased to offer the latest, state-of-the-art bronchoscopy technology. Our ENB procedure offers numerous advantages over a traditional bronchoscopy.
Advantages of navigational bronchoscopy include:
- Increased detection & improved access: Provides access to the most distant regions of the lungs, allowing a doctor to detect and biopsy even the smallest lesions
- Earlier diagnosis: Can aid in earlier diagnosis of lung tumors
- Informs better treatment decisions: Allows the doctor to identify the specific stage and genetic characteristics of a tumor and create a highly specialized treatment plan for each patient
- Reduces risk of complications: Reduces potential risk for collapsed lung (pneumothorax), as compared to traditional bronchoscopy or CAT-scan guided transthoracic needle biopsies
- Eliminates need for invasive surgery: With navigational bronchoscopy, there is usually no need for an invasive needle or surgical biopsy, which can cause complications and discomfort
Who offers the ENB procedure in NYC?
Dr. Marc Bowen is one of the only private practice pulmonologists in New York City to offer navigational bronchoscopy. In order to be able to provide this cutting edge procedure, Dr. Bowen underwent extensive training and hospital-based certification.
How do I find out more about navigational bronchoscopy in NYC?
If you have received an abnormal X-ray finding or have undergone a lung cancer screening and been referred to a pulmonologist for further testing, you may be a good candidate for navigational bronchoscopy. The first step to learning more about the ENB procedure in NYC is to contact our office to schedule a consultation. Dr. Bowen will be glad to answer all of your questions and explain how the procedure works in more detail.