Video-Assisted Lymph Node Biopsy | White Plains Hospital

Video-Assisted Lymph Node Biopsy

Patients with lymphadenopathy, enlarge lymph nodes, can have a diagnosis made by one of several ways. At White Plains Hospital, we believe in using state of the art video equipment to help obtain tissue for diagnosis. We have the capabilities to use endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), video mediastinoscopy and video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) to help take a piece of the lymph node to diagnose and stage malignancies such as lung cancer or lymphoma. It also allows us to diagnose certain types of infections such as tuberculosis and inflammatory processes such as sarcoidosis. The procedure that is best for you, will be decided by you and your surgeon.

Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)

Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a technique that utilizes ultrasound technology.

  • A bronchoscope is a small camera that is passed into your airway while you are under anesthesia.
  • Sound waves transmitted from the tip of a bronchoscope, help locate the lymph node in question.
  • A small needle is then passed though the tip of the bronchoscope into the lymph node.
  • The tissue obtained with this needle is sent to our board-certified pathologist for analysis.

The procedure is an ambulatory procedure that takes about a half an hour. After being monitored in recovery room for a period of time, you will be able to go home and return to your normal activities.


A mediastinoscopy is a surgical procedure that allows your surgeon to examine the inside of the upper chest between the two lungs and the heart.

  • During this procedure, a small incision is made in the neck just above the breast bone and a small scope (mediastinoscope) is inserted on top of the airway to evaluate the structures that sit around the airway and underneath the great blood vessels that exit the heart. This procedure is performed to evaluate diseases of the lung and mediastinum (the area between the two lungs) both benign and malignant. In the past, this procedure was performed by a surgeon inserting a scope that only the surgeon could see through and using one hand to hold the scope and the other to manipulate an instrument to either remove a mass or obtain a piece of tissue for diagnosis. Video assisted mediastinoscopy was first developed in 1992. This allows increased exposure by providing magnification for the surgeon. It also allows for bimanual dissection of the mediastinal structures and allows the surgeon to more safely and accurately obtain tissue.

At White Plains hospital we have been performing video assisted mediastinoscopy for over 10 years. During that time we have become experts at the procedure and are able to perform it safely and efficiently.

VATS lymph node sampling

Occasionally, the enlarge lymph nodes are not accessible by either EBUS or video-mediastinoscopy. The best way to sample these nodes may be through the chest.

  • We utilize VATS technology so we can use 3 small half inch incisions to access and sample these nodes.
  • In addition to allowing us to gain access to these lymph nodes, VATS enables us to evaluate the lungs and the pleura, the sac of tissue around the lungs.
  • These nodes will then be sent to our expert pathologist for full analysis.

At White Plains Hospital, we believe that full evaluation of your disease including your lymph nodes, is important to developing a comprehensive treatment plan. When possible, we are committed to using minimally invasive techniques to obtain a diagnosis. These state of the art techniques allows us to determine a diagnosis with the least amount of discomfort, allowing for the initiation of a treatment plan as soon as possible.