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Interventional Pulmonology

What is Interventional Pulmonology?

Interventional pulmonology is a relatively new field to help diagnose and treat benign and malignant pulmonary diseases, including the trachea, airways, lungs and pleura. It uses a variety of bronchoscopes and does not require open surgery, incisions or hospital stays.

Mercy Pulmonology Clinic has three board-certified pulmonologists and the area's only board-certified interventional pulmonologist.

What is Bronchoscopy?

Bronchoscopy is a minimally invasive technique that uses a small camera device to help us reach, diagnose and treat virtually any lesion in the airways or the lungs. These are outpatient procedures done under conscious sedation or general anesthesia for patient comfort.

Diagnostics

Electromagnetic Navigation (ENB)

Advanced technology that creates a 3D road map of the lungs based on the patient’s CT, allowing us to locate and reach almost any size lesion and difficult areas in the lungs.

Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS)

Special bronchoscope with an ultrasound device on its tip to help us locate structures next to the airways (lymph nodes, tumors) or deep in the lungs, leading to a more precise and safe biopsy.

Endobronchial Biopsy

Flexible forceps, needles or brushes are introduced through a bronchoscope, allowing us to sample tissue under direct visualization.

Transbronchial Biopsy

Similar technique as endobronchial biopsy, but instead of direct visualization, we use alternative ways of visualization, such as X-rays, CT scans and ultrasound, to find the lesion.

Narrow Band Imaging (NBI)

This technique allows enhancement of specific light waves to better visualize and biopsy areas of possible abnormal mucosa in the airways.

Treatments

Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT)

A novel, FDA-approved, bronchoscopic procedure to treat patients with severe, persistent asthma that is not under control with regular medications. This technique uses controlled energy, producing heat and reducing excess smooth muscle in the airways, achieving better asthma control and decreasing exacerbations. Learn more.

Ablation Techniques

Used to cut, burn and destroy benign and malignant airway lesions and tumors:

  • Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC): Uses liquefied argon gas and electric energy to destroy tumors and control bleeding within the airways.
  • Electrocautery: This technique converts energy into heat, which is delivered through a variety of tools to cut, destroy or control bleeding from tumors.
  • Laser: Controlled energy in laser form is directed into tumors to cut, vaporize and control bleeding. This can be a dangerous tool, but safe and invaluable in the hands of an experienced and appropriately trained physician.

Balloon Dilation

Use of a small, long airway-shaped balloon to open abnormally closed airways to help the patient breathe better, control bleeding, or help the physician with other techniques.

Airway Stenting

Used in some benign diseases and to complement the treatment of cancer affecting the airways and lungs. Stents are mesh tubes made of metal and/or silicone that hold open the airway that otherwise will collapse.

Endobronchial Valves (EBV)

This is a tiny, umbrella-shaped device delivered by a bronchoscopic procedure acting as a one-way valve, allowing trapped air and fluid to escape. It decreases airflow to the damaged lung, which allows resolution and healing of persistent pneumothoraces and broncho-pleural fistulas. It shortens overall hospital stay, cost and improves patient’s quality of life.

Fiducial Markers

This procedure is done by an experienced pulmonologist using a combination of bronchoscopic techniques to reach a lung lesion and implant a device that will help to increase the precision of radiation treatments.

Pleural Catheters

This is a tunneled catheter that allows home drainage of pleural effusion and is done during a simple outpatient procedure. It helps avoid hospital visits and multiple thoracentesis, while improving patient breathing and quality of life. When not in use, it is covered by a thin dressing, making it virtually invisible under clothing.

Other Advantages

Rapid, On-Site Cytopathology:

Dedicated pathologist present during all our bronchoscopic procedures to get an early preliminary diagnosis.

Lung Tumor Board:

A multidisciplinary conference that includes a pulmonologist, pathologists, surgeons, oncologist and radiation oncologist where lung cancer cases are discussed.

Lung Cancer Clinic:

One-day appointment that allows the patient to meet and discuss the plan
for treatment of lung cancer with all the involved physicians during the same office visit.

For questions or referrals please call, (319) 221-8788.

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Pulmonology Clinic

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