St. Francis Medical Center is the first in Northeast Louisiana to offer endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) technology for physicians to more effectively diagnose and stage lung cancer, infections and other inflammatory diseases in the bronchial tree.

Traditional diagnostic procedures, such as mediastinoscopy, are considered an inpatient surgical procedure. Now, using EBUS technology, physicians can achieve the same accurate results using this minimally invasive diagnostic procedure in the outpatient setting.

“We take pride in being able to offer our patients the latest technology and innovation for diagnosing cancers and other diseases of the airway and lungs,” said Kristin Wolkart, St. Francis Medical Center President. “This new technology, the first of its kind in Northeast Louisiana, allows physicians to provide patients with the recommended, nonsurgical solutions for sampling lymph nodes and lesions for faster, accurate diagnosis and staging of lung cancer without having to leave our community.”

EBUS uses an ultrasound-guided bronchoscope to “see” beyond the walls of the airways and detect the precise location of lymph nodes. The lymph nodes can then be sampled using transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA). EBUS-TBNA technology provides visualization of the target lymph node and the needle so that the physician can visually guide the needle in real-time to the intended site to obtain the sample.

This technology also includes radial EBUS which enables physicians to more accurately sample lesions in parts of the lungs that are beyond the reach of a bronchoscope. Radial EBUS involves inserting a small ultrasound probe down a flexible bronchoscope. The resulting image is displayed on a monitor. When the scope is in the correct position, the probe is withdrawn and a biopsy sampling device is inserted down the scope to collect tissue samples for biopsy. 

EBUS-TBNA and radial EBUS are proven modalities for helping physicians diagnose and stage lung cancer and diagnose other pulmonary diseases. Both provide patients with a convenient, minimally invasive diagnostic procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis.

St. Francis Medical Center also offers a low-dose CT screening test for individuals who have a greater risk of developing lung cancer, as well as smoking cessation classes.

By acquiring advanced technologies such as the Olympus EBUS Solution, St. Francis Medical Center is able to offer premier care for its patients. The addition of this new technology is part of St. Francis Forward, an $80 million, four-year capital campaign intended to revitalize the Monroe medical center and community.

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