A new ultrasound technique now available for the first time in Northern Ireland will provide patients from Derry with a rapid diagnosis of lung cancer.
The service, available at the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen, is the result of an investment in equipment of £124,000.
The test, known as an Endobronchial Ultrasound or EBUS, involves insertion of a flexible camera and ultrasound scope into the lung which detects lymph nodes and tumours. This allows these areas to be biopsied in order to diagnose the patient’s condition, and in some cases can determine what stage the cancer is at.
The 30 minute procedure allows a quicker and safer service for patients, and, in a significant number of cases, eliminates the need for general anaesthetic.