Interventional pulmonology is a fast-growing field in pulmonary medicine. It involves the use of minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the lungs, trachea and chest. This approach causes less trauma than traditional procedures and often leads to a faster recovery, less pain and a reduced risk of complications.
At the Temple Lung Center, these outpatient procedures are performed by interventional pulmonologists who have undergone special training in this field. The tool of choice for these specialists is a bronchoscope — a small, flexible tube that is inserted into a patient’s windpipe and airways through the mouth or nose.
At the end of the bronchoscope is a small camera that allows doctors to visualize and diagnosis problems. Small tools can also be advanced through the bronchoscope, allowing doctors to take biopsies and perform procedures. These procedures can include the placement of stents to open airways, the use of lasers to burn away tumors, and the use of small balloons to widen a narrowed airway.