What Is Interventional Pulmonology?

Medicine and the healthcare sector are continually developing and changing.

Interventional pulmonology is one of the more recent subspecialties of pulmonology medicine (IP). It utilizes endoscopy techniques and other tools to diagnose and treat chest and lung conditions. If you are going through a relatable issue, immediately find the best pulmonologist near you in Michigan for treatment.

Pulmonologists who practice interventional pulmonology, complete additional pulmonary and critical care fellowship, followed by specialized IP training. They should also be trained in endobronchial ultrasound, needle aspiration, cyrobiopsy, electrocautery, and other relevant techniques.
In some circumstances, interventional pulmonology procedures may help patients avoid needing more invasive surgery. For instance, in order to biopsy chest lymph nodes before the invention of IP, surgeons had to open the chest wall. Along with flexible bronchoscopy, IP provides less invasive procedures.

Clinical decision-making requires the acquisition and real-time interpretation of details at the point of care.

What are some interventional pulmonology procedures ?

What sets IP apart from conventional pulmonology practice are some procedures that are discussed below:

Lymph Node Biopsies:

Through the use of a needle, interventional pulmonologists can also take lung or lymph node samples during bronchoscopy. They also use forceps to take tiny tissue samples from the lymph node or lung.

Also, they use forceps to take tiny tissue samples from the lymph node or lung. The tissue samples can be utilized to look for cancer, infections, and other diseases. This kind of biopsy helps certain cancer patients determine whether the disease has spread to surrounding lymph nodes. This approach can avoid the need for extra surgery. Additionally, it might help in selecting the most appropriate course of treatment for their illness.

By injecting sterile water into a lung segment with the bronchoscope during a bronchoscopy, the physician could also do a bronchoalveolar lavage. After that, the fluid is suctioned out and tested. This treatment can assist in the diagnosis of bleeding, cancer, and other diseases.
Even flexible bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage did not provide the highest level of sensitivity, particularly with tiny lesions. With larger, malignant peripheral nodules, computed tomography (CT) guidance can now improve specificity and sensitivity.

IP evaluation of pulmonary nodules and lung cancer staging has been transformed by advances in diagnostic imaging, such as endobronchial ultrasonography. The interventional pulmonologist’s function in the diagnostic evaluation of thoracic disorders has become more crucial because it is even extremely accurate and less intrusive.

Airway Or Bronchial Stent

Bronchi can become compressed due to advanced cancer or other reasons (airway tubes). Breathing issues, pneumonia, and even coughing can be brought on by blocked bronchi. The bronchus is narrowed and treated with a wire mesh stent. It opens the bronchus when it is expanded, easing the symptoms brought on by the constriction.

Rigid Bronchoscopy:

In rigid bronchoscopy, the patient’s windpipe and major airways are entered with a lengthy metal tube. The increased diameter of the rigid bronchoscope enables the use of more advanced surgical instruments and methods.

Balloon Bronchoplasty:

An atypically decreased airway portion is filled with a deflated balloon. When the balloon is inflated, the airway is expanded, alleviating symptoms. To help enlarge the bronchus, this surgery might be done before installing an airway stent.


To remove fluid from the area around the lungs, a needle will penetrate into the chest wall. The needle is covered with a plastic catheter before being taken out. Through the catheter, extra fluid in the chest is suctioned out.


People with persistent fluid around their lungs undergo this IP technique at a Lung and Sleep institute Michigan and other relatable places. The swollen pleura (lining of the lung) attaches firmly to the chest wall over time. As a result, fluid doesn’t come around the lung again.


Tiny incisions are created in the patient’s chest wall to boost a pleuroscope (a type of endoscope) into the chest cavity. To diagnose various lung lining problems, the pleuroscope is rotated around the chest wall and lung on one side. Pleuroscopy also makes it possible to see the edges of the lung, something bronchoscopy is unable to do.

Foreign Object Removal:

The preferred IP method to remove foreign objects lodged in an airway that was inhaled is bronchoscopy, either flexible or rigid.

Indwelling Pleural Catheter

For the treatment of recurrent pleural effusion, a pleural catheter is an alternative to pleurodesis. A plastic catheter is tunneled through the skin during minor surgery, and its tip is inserted into the chest cavity.
A person can drain the indwelling pleural catheter at home with the use of specialized sterile supplies as pleural fluid builds up around the lung.

Bronchoscopic Thermoplasty

For some individuals with severe asthma and unable to control their asthma with medicine, thermoplastics are an IP technique. A medical professional uses a heat probe during bronchoscopy to examine the airway walls. The smooth muscle layers whose contraction causes asthma symptoms are destroyed by heat.

Advancement In Interventional Pulmonology Procedures

1. The identification and treatment of cancers in the airways are becoming more and more dependent on recent technological advancements.
This approach is a big revolution in interventional pulmonology procedures.
2. The endobronchial ultrasound system (EBUS) provides a practical, accurate, and secure way to evaluate peripheral lung nodules. An IP can more precisely biopsy lymph nodes using an ultrasonic probe on the end of a bronchoscope. It can greatly raise the probability of a precise diagnosis.
3. Advanced airway assessment methods with great spatial resolution include optical coherence tomography, autofluorescence bronchoscopy, and narrow-band imaging (NBI). This can allow for a thorough assessment of the airways and the potential for endobronchial cancer early diagnosis.
4. A sophisticated system is virtual bronchoscopy navigation (VBN) and electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB). Both systems can offer quick and accurate localization of peripheral lesions. Especially in lung regions where invasive testing would typically be necessary.

What Are The Benefits Of Interventional Pulmonology?

The ability to breathe is a basic but crucial patient demand that is addressed by interventional pulmonology. It turns out that roughly 30% of lung tumors have the potential to block the airway.
1. Imaging technology is used by interventional pulmonologists to identify potential root causes of symptoms.
2. Interventional pulmonology concentrates on minimally invasive treatments and procedures to treat respiratory tumors and clear blockages in the airways.
3. Without waiting for chemotherapy or radiation therapy to reduce tumors, interventional methods can be utilized to help open the airway right away.
4. Additionally, the procedures could eliminate extra fluid around the lungs. to help people breathe more comfortably, and shrink symptoms that make them uncomfortable, this condition is known as pleural effusion.
Intuitive procedures used by interventional pulmonologists may result in fewer problems, less trauma, and speedier recovery times for patients.

Role Of Pulmonologist?

Interventional pulmonologists collaborate closely with critical care physicians, oncologists, and other cancer specialists. They cater to the individual demands of each patient, preserving lung function and minimizing negative effects. Your interventional pulmonologist will keep track of your progress throughout therapy and adjust your regimen as necessary.
Interventional pulmonologists address lung disease symptoms that may affect your quality of life. Additionally, cause your cancer therapies to be postponed or discontinued. Some of these operations are done without hospitalization.

Bottom Lines

By offering the most cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedures, interventional pulmonology has changed the field of pulmonary medicine. They are mainly concerned with the lungs and breathing issues. They identify and handle both cancerous and non-malignant conditions affecting the lungs and airways.

ALSO READ: Asthma: Caused by a Trigger or an Autoimmune Disease?

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