We use bronchoscopy technology to diagnose and stage certain cancers, such as lung cancer and esophageal cancer.
In this procedure, a thin, lighted tube connected to a camera (called a bronchoscope) is inserted through the patient’s mouth or nose and into the lungs. The bronchoscope helps us examine the bronchial path, including the trachea (windpipe), bronchi (tubes inside the lungs), and lungs.
Specifically, our cancer doctors use bronchoscopy procedures to:
- Locate and identify suspected tumors
- Evaluate the extent of the cancer
- Identify the cause of symptoms (e.g., difficulty breathing)
- Reveal and treat obstructions in the airway
- Collect sample lung tissue or fluid for lab analysis
- Perform certain treatment procedures (e.g., brachytherapy)
Bronchoscopy procedures can find cancerous cells that other surgical and imaging tools may not detect. For lung cancer patients, bronchoscopies often minimize the risks of more invasive lung biopsies.
Types of bronchoscopies
We perform rigid and flexible bronchoscopies, as well as laser (e.g., regular laser, argon plasma coagulation, electric cautery) bronchoscopies.
Some specific bronchoscopy procedures include:
- White-light bronchoscopy
- Autofluorescence (blue-light) bronchoscopy
- Navigational bronchoscopy