Diagnose Lung Nodules with confidence and accuracy using electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy in Naples, FL

Although lung nodules are often nothing serious, they can sometimes be an early indicator of lung cancer. If you’ve smoked in the past or currently smoke, or if you have a family history of lung cancer, you are at increased risk for developing lung cancer. As a regional leader in volume and experience, Meliora Healthcare is proud to offer our patients this minimally invasive alternative to surgery.

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What is Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy (ENB)? 

ENB is a minimally invasive medical procedure performed to thoroughly examine the lungs and diagnose certain health conditions including lung cancer. This advanced bronchoscopy technique uses state-of-the-art technology that allows our doctors to obtain tissue samples and enhances the ability to diagnose and potentially treat a variety of diseases. Our physicians use specialized software to digitally identify targets using images from a CT scan and then guide a bronchoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a camera) with extreme precision to the target using GPS-like technology. By manipulating a variety of small, flexible tools inserted through the bronchoscope, our physicians are able to image and biopsy lymph nodes and nodules using transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) or transbronchial forceps biopsy that would be otherwise difficult to reach with a traditional diagnostic bronchoscope. 

Who Needs an ENB?

This procedure is typically performed to biopsy lung nodules so that your provider can determine the best course of action in your management moving forward. Not all lung nodules need to be biopsied, however if you are at an increased risk for lung cancer or the nodule has a concerning appearance on a CT scan or PET scan, sampling of the nodule may be indicated to determine if it is benign or cancerous. Our esteemed, knowledgeable and highly skilled pulmonologists at Meliora Healthcare will evaluate your situation and determine if tissue sampling is needed and if this type of bronchoscopy is ideal for you.

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What Should I Expect?

Before your ENB procedure, you will likely need to take several steps in preparation. This can include undergoing a special type of CT scan called a Super-D or bronchoscopy protocol CT scan of the chest for mapping purposes. 

  • You will be told not to eat after midnight the night before (or about 8 hours before) the procedure. 
  • You will also receive instructions about taking your regular medicines, not smoking, and removing any dentures before the procedure. Be sure to ask about stopping any medications that thin the blood or prevent clotting. 
  • You will be under the care of an anesthesiology team that will monitor your heart rate, oxygen levels, blood pressure and breathing and will also manage the intravenous sedation that you will be receiving. You will be intubated (have a breathing tube in place) for the duration of the procedure.
  • You will be lying down on a procedure bed with the head of the bed tilted up slightly. The ENB scope is placed through the breathing tube, then advanced slowly into the airways and lungs where sampling is performed.

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What happens after the procedure?

  • Patients vary in how long it takes to wake up from sedation. You will need to stay in a recovery area until the sedative has worn off, and you will also need to wait until any numbing medicine wears off before eating or drinking any liquids. 
  • You will need to have someone else drive you home after the procedure. 
  • It is unlikely that you will experience any problems after the test other than a mild sore throat, hoarseness, cough or muscle aches. You may also have a low grade fever for a day or two.
  • You may resume your regular activities after sedation wears off, however you should avoid strenuous activities on the day of the procedure.
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Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy FAQ

Are there alternatives to an ENB?

How long does an ENB take?

How long will it take to get my results?

Is an ENB safe?

Are there alternatives to an ENB?

Other tests such as X-rays, CT scans and PET scans can give some information about the lungs, but bronchoscopy allows the doctors to obtain very specific samples. Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy is an alternative procedure with similar risks and your pulmonologist will determine which type of bronchoscopy is best for you. CT guided needle biopsy by an interventional radiologist can provide similar diagnostic yields, however in most instances comes with a higher risk of complications. Surgical options including Video-Assisted Thorascopic Surgery (VATS) and thoracotomy are available but are much more invasive than ENB and require incisions and hospitalization afterwards.

How long does an ENB take?

The length of the procedure varies depending on what needs to be done and why you need it. Typically, it can last anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes.

How long will it take to get my results?

Biopsies can take anywhere from 5-7 days and cultures can take anywhere from 72 hours to 6 weeks to finalize.

Is an ENB safe?

ENB is a safe procedure. Serious risks from the procedure, such as an air leak or major bleeding, are uncommon and occur in less than 5% of patients. Your doctor will discuss the risks of the procedure with you in more detail at your visit.

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