It's hard enough to think that you might have cancer. A surgical biopsy has always been the first invasion since doctors need a piece of that tissue to confirm the diagnosis and see how bad it is. But now, a new kind of ultrasound guided biopsy is helping doctors reach the suspicious spot without surgery. So, there's no need for general anesthesia, just a light sedation while the scope and tiny camera are inserted through the nose or the mouth.
"We're able to do an ultrasound all the way inside the breathing tubes, find where those lymph nodes or spots or areas of concern are and then insert a needle through that scope under the guidance of an ultrasound and biopsy it there and then," said Dr. Eduardo Oliveria, a Pulmonologist.
Dr. Oliveria says in 80 to 90percent of the cases, this is the only procedure needed to diagnose lung cancer now and determine what stage it is. In fact, the ultrasound guided biopsy can be used to examine any abnormality in the chest although this may not work for some patients if they have a larger growth that would require a bigger sample.
Here in Lubbock, Covenant and UMC are using a similar procedure to make biopsies non-invasive today. The ct scan is allowing doctors here to find a suspicious spot and withdraw tissue non-invasively.