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Treatments & Procedures

Most interventional pulmonology treatments are done on an outpatient basis and involve general anesthesia or conscious sedation. Treatments and procedures offered by Temple’s interventional pulmonologists include: 

  • Airway ablation: the use of lasers or radiofrequency energy to burn away constrictions and open airways
  • Airway stenting: the use of small wire coils that hold airways open and ease breathing 
  • Balloon dilation: the use of a small balloon that is inflated to help widen an airway that has become narrowed 
  • Bronchial thermoplasty: involves heating the inside of the airways using an electrode
  • Foreign body removal: the removal of inhaled foreign objects that are lodged in the airway   
  • Lung or lymph node biopsy: the collection of a small piece of tissue that can be tested for cancer, infection or other conditions 
  • Rigid bronchoscopy: the use of a rigid metal tube that allows doctors to use more sophisticated surgical tools and techniques  
  • Pleuroscopy: the use of an endoscope that is inserted into the chest cavity to diagnose conditions of the pleura (the lining of the lung) 

In addition to treating disease, Temple’s interventional pulmonologists use the bronchoscope to diagnose problems. Imaging technology like endobronchial ultrasound uses an ultrasound probe on the end of the bronchoscope to better visualize structures in the lungs and more precisely biopsy lymph nodes. The newest technologies include navigational bronchoscopy, which creates a GPS-like “map” of the airways and allows doctors to precisely locate otherwiseinaccessible lung lesions for diagnosis and treatment, and transbronchial parenchymal tunneling to reach lung nodules otherwise inaccessible by conventional techniques.