Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB) is a minimally invasive technique for diagnosing and treating lung cancer. Our cancer specialists are experienced in using this advanced tool, which offers significant benefits compared to traditional bronchoscopy.

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What is Traditional Bronchoscopy?

Bronchoscopy is a procedure in which a physician examines the major air passages of the lungs through a thin, lighted tube called a bronchoscope. This method allows a physician to evaluate the lungs and collect small tissue samples (a biopsy) to diagnose lung cancer.

Traditional bronchoscopy is limited because the device cannot reach the distant regions of the lungs, where more than two-thirds of all lung lesions are found.

What is Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy?

ENB extends the reach of the bronchoscope to areas deep within the lung. With ENB, physicians can find small lung lesions for diagnostic testing and potential treatment. The system uses natural airway access and electromagnetic technology to navigate the lungs.

ENB uses GPS-like technology to maneuver a unique set of catheters deep into the lungs through complex airways. Physicians can then diagnose, stage and prepare to treat remote lesions in one procedure.

Benefits of Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy

ENB has several benefits including:

  • Less hospital time: It is usually an outpatient procedure, so you can go home the same day. ENB minimizes the need for more invasive surgical procedures that can access lung lesions in hard-to-reach locations.
  • Fewer complications: More invasive procedures can require an inpatient hospital stay or cause complications such as collapsed lung (pneumothorax).
  • Early detection: ENB allows us to detect lung cancer earlier, even before symptoms are evident. This means our patients have more treatment options and a higher chance of successful treatment.
Learn more about our cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment options.

What Happens During Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy?

During an ENB procedure, we will:

  1. Locate a lesion (spot) that is deep in the lung on an X-ray, CT scan or PET-CT scan.
  2. Load your scan into our planning software that creates a 3-D "roadmap" of the lungs.
  3. Place the bronchoscope through your mouth and into the airways of the lungs.
  4. Place the catheters into the bronchoscope channel to guide us to the target lesion.
  5. Locate the lesion and remove the locatable guide catheter, leaving the extended working channel catheter.
  6. Place tools for biopsy or cell removal through the extended working channel. (The exact tools depend on whether we are diagnosing or treating the lesion.)
  7. Discharge you, after a brief recovery period in the hospital.