New Saturday service for specialist cancer investigations
A service offering a minimally invasive procedure to help diagnose lung cancer and tailor treatment plans is now available on Saturdays at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
Patients have the investigation with an endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) bronchoscope, which is a flexible tube with an ultrasound probe attached. It is inserted through the patients mouth and windpipe into the lungs enabling a biopsy while the patient is sedated. The investigation takes about 30 minutes and is carried out as a day procedure.
Dr. Ajay Kamath, Consultant Physician in Respiratory Medicine at NNUH, said: We have been using this technique for about two years and see about four patients a week on a dedicated EBUS list. The procedure is delivered by an experienced bronchoscopy team, working closely with radiologists and pathologists. Previously, patients would have had to travel to Cambridge for the procedure or have faced an invasive surgical operation under general anaesthetic, followed by a hospital stay.
Our Saturday procedure list expands our capacity and offers patients more choice about appointment times.”
The results of the EBUS help to pinpoint and assess spread of cancer enabling cancer specialists and surgeons to deliver tailored treatment programmes. The NNUH team also provides the EBUS service for patients across Norfolk and Waveney, including those from the James Paget University Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Kings Lynn.
The service was started two years ago with a grant of £55,000 from Big C which enabled NNUH to purchase its first EBUS bronchoscope. NNUH expanded the service with a second EBUS bronchoscope earlier this year.
EBUS bronchoscopy is a technique approved by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) as being best practice for lung cancer staging.