interventional-pulmonology

Interventional Pulmonology Procedures by Dr. Sneha Tirpude

Interventional Pulmonology:

Interventional pulmonology is a modern and exciting field within lung medicine that uses advanced tools and techniques to diagnose and treat lung and chest diseases.

What is Interventional Pulmonology?

Think of interventional pulmonology as a combination of lung medicine and advanced technology. It involves using special instruments, often through a thin, flexible tube called a bronchoscope, which is inserted through the nose or mouth into the airways and lungs. This allows us to see inside the lungs, take samples, and even treat problems—all without making large cuts in the body.

Common Procedures in Interventional Pulmonology

Here are some of the key procedures used in this field:

1. Bronchoscopy: This is like sending a tiny camera into your airways to look around and take samples if needed. There are different types:

  • Flexible Bronchoscopy: Used to look inside the airways, take samples, or remove small blockages.
  • Rigid Bronchoscopy: Used for more complex tasks like placing stents (small tubes) to keep airways open.

2. Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS): This combines the bronchoscope with ultrasound to get detailed images of the lungs and nearby areas, and do an ultrasound guided biopsy of the adjacent lymph nodes or tumours, making it easier to diagnose conditions like mediastinal lymph node tuberculosis, lung cancer.

3. Pleuroscopy: Also called medical thoracoscopy, this procedure examines the space between the lungs and it’s covering, to diagnose and treat conditions like fluid buildup – pleural effusion, pleural mass.

4. Balloon Bronchoplasty: A small balloon is used to widen narrowed airways, making it easier for patients to breathe.

5. Airway Stenting: Small tubes called stents are placed in the airways to keep them open if they are narrowed or blocked.

Benefits of Interventional Pulmonology

The main advantages of these minimally invasive techniques are:

  • Quicker Recovery: Patients can often go home the same day or after a short hospital stay.
  • Less Risk: There are usually fewer complications, such as infections or bleeding.
  • Better Accuracy: Advanced imaging tools provide precise information, helping doctors plan the best treatment.
  • More Comfortable: Many procedures require only mild sedation or local anesthesia, which is easier on patients.

Conditions Treated with Interventional Pulmonology

Interventional pulmonology can help with many lung and chest problems, including:

  • Lung Cancer: For diagnosing, staging, and even providing relief from symptoms.
  • Benign Airway Disorders: Conditions like narrowed airways or tracheomalacia (weak airways).
  • Pleural Diseases: Problems in the space around the lungs, like fluid buildup.
  • Interstitial Lung Diseases: Diagnosing complex lung diseases with biopsy techniques.
  • Severe Asthma and COPD: Advanced treatments for chronic respiratory diseases.

The Future of Interventional Pulmonology

The field of interventional pulmonology is growing rapidly. New techniques like robotic bronchoscopy and advanced imaging are making diagnosis and treatment even more precise. Innovative treatments for severe asthma and other conditions show the ongoing progress in this specialty.

Conclusion

Interventional pulmonology offers a modern, less invasive way to diagnose and treat lung and chest diseases. By using advanced tools and techniques, doctors can provide effective care with fewer risks and quicker recovery times. If you or someone you know has lung problems, consulting with an interventional pulmonologist could open up new and better treatment options.

If you have any respiratory issues, consider discussing these minimally invasive procedures with your pulmonologist to see if they might be right for you.

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