Interventional Pulmonology is a branch of medicine that uses minimally invasive procedures aimed at diagnosing and treating various diseases, including lung cancer, pleural diseases, and many types of complex airway and lung disorders.
The Interventional Pulmonology team at Tulane uses the latest technology to provide patients with alternatives to more invasive surgical procedures. Our Interventional Pulmonologists work alongside your primary care physician, your pulmonologist, oncologists, thoracic surgeons, radiation oncologists, radiologists, otolaryngologists, and anesthesiologists to provide comprehensive care to a complex patient population.
Tulane Interventional Pulmonology has a dedicated procedure suite equipped with the most advanced technologies, including rigid and flexible bronchoscopy, cryobiopsy, navigational bronchoscopy, pleuroscopy, a cone beam CT scanner, and on-site cytopathology support. Our team consists of the interventional pulmonologist, a group of dedicated anesthesiologists, and experienced nursing and respiratory staff focused on patient care.
Minimally invasive techniques are aimed at decreasing blood loss, reducing pain, as well as minimizing time to recovery when compared to traditional surgical techniques. Patients often spend less time in the hospital and are able to return to their daily activities sooner.
Flexible and rigid bronchoscopy is performed by inserting a small flexible or rigid scope with a camera attached into the airways. This procedure can diagnose and treat a wide array of diseases including airway blockages, infections, and lung cancer. The patient is normally asleep during this procedure and is sedated by our anesthesiologists.
Endobronchial ultrasound is a minimally invasive procedure using an EBUS bronchoscope, which is a flexible bronchoscope combined with an ultrasound. Using this bronchoscope, we can examine and biopsy suspicious lymph nodes adjacent to the airways. Using this technique, we can diagnose lung cancer or many inflammatory and infectious diseases without performing surgery. Our patients normally go home the same day.
Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy (ENB) is a minimally invasive procedure allowing the bronchoscopist to use GPS-like technology to create a 3-D map of your airways, allowing them to navigate to your lung nodule and obtain tissue without surgery. This technology can biopsy lung nodules that cannot be obtained through traditional bronchoscopy, place fiducial markers, and help diagnose early stage lung cancer, allowing for rapid treatment. Patients normally go home the same day.
An Endobronchial valve (EBV) is a small medical device that can be implanted in an airway to treat airway leaks and to help certain patients with emphysema breath more easily. In patients with severe emphysema, EBV placement usually requires a 3 day hospital stay for monitoring.
Cryobiopsy is another way to obtain tissue from the lungs. It uses a cryoprobe, or a freezing probe, to obtain tissue while protecting the architecture of the airways, allowing pathologists to more accurately diagnose diseases of the lung, including Interstitial lung disease (ILD). Patients normally go home the same day.
Using the bronchoscope, a small balloon can be inflated, improving the airway narrowing caused by tumors, inflammatory conditions, or other airway diseases. This can provide immediate improvement in airway narrowing. If narrowing continues, balloon dilation can pave the way for stent placement, if necessary.
Tracheobronchial airway stents are small tubes that are placed into the airway to keep the airways open. They can be made of silicone or metal and can be permanent or temporary.
The physician uses an ultrasound to locate a pocket of fluid. Next, a small needle with a catheter (much like an IV) is inserted into the chest cavity (the area between the lungs and the chest wall) to obtain suspicious pleural fluid. Once obtained, the fluid is sent for analysis and can help diagnose cancer, infection, or many inflammatory processes. Removing this fluid can also make the patient breathe more easily. Patients normally go home the same day.
After thoracentesis, if the pleural fluid reaccumulates and symptoms recur, we can place a more permanent catheter allowing drainage at home, either by the patient themselves or a visiting nurse, decreasing hospitalizations and improving patient comfort and quality of life. This procedure is similar to a thoracentesis and the patient normally goes home the same day.
Thoracoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to examine the chest cavity for abnormalities. A small incision is made in the chest wall and a small tube with a camera at the end is inserted. The physician can take biopsies of abnormal looking tissue and take fluid samples to diagnose a wide array of diseases.
Percutaneous Dilational Tracheostomy (PDT) is a minimally invasive procedure that inserts a small tube into the anterior neck, normally in a loved one who is critically ill. It is usually done at the bedside in the ICU.
Point your phone's camera at this QR code