This is a common biopsy used to detect mesothelioma by using an endoscope to look inside the body. The device had a little video camera as well as a light to look inside the body and remove tissue samples. There are different names for the endoscopes depending on the part of the body.
Thoracoscopy– An endoscope called a thoracosope is utilized to look inside the chest to examine the pleura and remove tissue samples for biopsies.
It is performed in an operation room, and as the patient is asleep under general anesthesia, the doctor will insert the scope into the chest to examine the space between the lungs and the chest wall. The doctor then will remove tiny samples of tissue for testing. They will also remove lymph nodes and fluid if need be. Also, during this procedure, a doctor can see if there is a growing tumor by any organs or tissues.
Laparoscopy- An endoscope called a laparoscope is utilized to look inside the stomach for any possible tumors. The scope is put into the front of the abdomen as the patient is under general anesthesia.
Mediastinoscopy– An endoscope called a mediastinoscopy is utilized to look in the area between the lungs if an imagining test shows that there is cancer has spread to the lymph nodes there. This is also done while the patient is under general anesthesia
A small incision is made from the neck to the sternum and a mediastinoscopy is inserted in front of the wind pipe and behind the sternum to examine the area. Small devices are then inserted down the tube to remove tissue samples from the lymph nodes by the bronchial tubes.
Testing the lymph nodes is highly important to determine if the cancer has spread or not; which may alter treatment options for the patient. It also helps determine if the cancer is in fact mesothelioma, or if it is a different lung cancer. A bronchoscopy is not necessary for individuals with mesothelioma since it does not spread inside the breathing tubes. In some cases, a bronchoscopy could potentially be used to biopsy lymph nodes near the lungs in place of a mediastinoscopy.
Endobronchial ultrasound needle biopsy: A bronchoscope with an ultrasound at the tip is utilized for this test. It is inserted down the throat and into the windpipe and a needle is placed down the tube to take biopsy samples of the lymph nodes in the airway wall. The ultrasound at the tip allows doctors to see the lymph nodes nearby. While this procedure is being done the patient is either placed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with numbing medicine.