Pulmonary Diagnostic Tests & Procedures

Choose Essentia for a wide range of diagnostic tests, treatments, and procedures for your lung conditions, including:

  • Bronchoscopy – Examines the airways of the lungs through a thin, lighted tube (bronchoscope) to diagnose or treat lung conditions, biopsy tissue, and detect lung cancer
  • Chest X-ray – Takes pictures of your heart, lungs, and bones in your chest
  • Lung biopsy - Removes lung tissue samples for examination under a microscope; includes needle, transbronchial, thoracoscopic, and open biopsy methods
  • Low-dose CT lung cancer screening – Detects lung cancer
  • Mediastinoscopy – Uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a light and tiny camera (mediastinoscope) to examine the space between and in front of your lungs and collect tissue to examine in a lab
  • Methacholine challenge testing – Evaluates your lung function and looks at narrowing or tightening of your airways after inhaling a methacholine mist; helps diagnose asthma
  • Peak flow measurement – Measures air flow from your lungs when you forcefully exhale
  • Pulmonary function tests – Assesses your breathing and how well your lungs are functioning with normal and deep breathing tests
  • Pulse oximetry – Measures the oxygen level in your blood by clipping a device on your finger
  • Thoracentesis – Removes excess fluid or air from around the lungs using a needle inserted through your chest wall

Minimally Invasive Lung Procedures

Count on the pulmonary team at Essentia to use advanced techniques and minimally invasive procedures to treat your lung condition. That means you’ll benefit from:

  • Shorter recovery time
  • Less pain
  • Lower risk of complications

Your care team will answer your questions and help you understand your treatment options.


When you have a lung tumor, cryotherapy freezes and destroys diseased tissue and cancer cells. An interventional radiologist performs this treatment using an image-guided needle-like probe. The probe inserts nitrogen or argon into your tissue.

Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy (ENB)

This procedure uses GPS-like technology to create a 3-D roadmap of your lungs. The map helps your pulmonologist guide catheters through your lungs’ most complex airways. ENB can diagnose, biopsy, and treat damaged lung tissue in a single procedure.

If you have lung cancer, your doctor can also use this procedure to place markers that help your cancer care team target radiation to your tumors.

Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS)

During your EBUS, your doctor will insert a bronchoscope through your mouth and trachea with an ultrasound probe to perform a needle aspiration on your lymph nodes.

Using this procedure, your doctor can view hard-to-reach tumors and access smaller lymph nodes for biopsy than with other methods.

EBUS is used to diagnose lung cancer and other diseases causing enlarged lymph nodes in your chest.

Bronchial Thermoplasty for Asthma

If inhalers and other medications don’t control your severe asthma, your pulmonologist may recommend bronchial thermoplasty (BT).

During BT, your pulmonologist inserts a flexible bronchoscope through your mouth or nose and into your lungs. Through the bronchoscope, a small catheter delivers mild heat to your lung’s airway to shrink the amount of smooth muscle.

Following BT, your airway won’t constrict as much and you will experience fewer asthma attacks.

Thoracic Surgery

If your doctor recommends surgery for your lung condition, you can trust the highly skilled and experienced cardiothoracic surgeons at Essentia Health.

Ask for a Referral

You’ll need a referral from your primary care provider or a specialist for this service.