Endobronchial ultrasound

Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) and transbronchial biopsy is a surgical procedure to perform a biopsy of the lymph nodes in the middle of the chest or to biopsy a mass around the airway. The procedure is performed to help with the diagnosis of an enlarged lymph node or mass or as part of staging for lung cancer.


The name of the operation is “endobronchial ultrasound and transbronchial needle biopsy.” The operation is performed through the endotracheal tube or breathing tube. A specialized EBUS scope is placed into the airway through the breathing tube. The lymph nodes or the mass around the airway are identified using an ultrasound at the end of the bronchoscope and a needle is passed into the lymph node or mass and sent to pathologist for analysis.

Overall the risk of the operation is very low. Very rare complications may include bleeding and pneumothorax.

Recovery at home

After the operation, the patient goes to a recovery area called PACU or post-anesthesia care unit. Once the patient recovers from anesthesia, the patient is discharged home. Patients may cough up a little bit of blood for a couple of days. This is normal, but we advise patients to call the office or go to the emergency room if they experience a very rare episode of coughing up lots of blood.