By early September of this year we will have one of the latest and most advanced methods of evaluating lymph nodes and other types of lumps that surround the windpipe and the major airway divisions. This technique is important because it will allow us to biopsy these areas without the need for surgery.

The procedure is called endobronchial ultrasound and it combines both direct vision of the airway as well as the use of a miniature ultrasound device mounted on the flexible bronchoscope that allows us to see thru the walls of the windpipe and larger airways and follow our biopsy needles accurately and directly into the spot we want. This procedure is performed while the patient is comfortably sedated in a special examination room specifically designed to accommodate this technique. CT scanning of the chest is a common procedure.

We now have many high risk patients in our Early Detection Program. These patients often turn up with lumps or lymph nodes along the trachea or large airways and being able to perform a short outpatient exam rather than a surgery will help us thoroughly evaluate patients for cancers, infections, and other unusual diseases.

We will be discussing this procedure and other interesting topics at this year’s Health-O-Rama, which we are again hosting at the Logan Valley Mall on August 15th. Come and join the Lung Disease Center and the Altoona Lung Specialists, along with our many partners and vendors and learn interesting facts on a variety of health issues.