A relatively new field, recent advancements in technology have created the need for a new subfield within pulmonology. Interventional pulmonology is now a well-organized field, with fellowships and board certifications, becoming more prevalent throughout the United States.
An interventional pulmonologist is typically seen once a thoracic disease has become too complex for a regular pulmonologist to care for the patient. A trained interventional pulmonologist or a thoracic surgeon performs advanced minimally invasive procedures for lung cancer or airway structures, including airway stenting, tumor destruction with laser, rigid bronchoscopy, balloon bronchopathy, pleuroscopy, thoracentesis and pleurx catheter insertions.
Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery
Minimally invasive vide-assisted surgery and robotic surgery. With the da Vinci surgical robot system, surgeons operate through just a few small incisions using magnified 3D high-definition vision system and tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand. Thoracic surgery treats disease of the chest cavity including the lungs, esophagus, mediastinum, chest wall, pleura and pericardium. Chest wall tumors are treated with removal of ribs/muscle with reconstruction with tissue flaps or biomechanical constructs.
High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
An advanced radiation procedure for lung cancer using radio-active seeds to deliver short and precise amounts of high dose radiation directly into the tumor with high efficacy and little radiation to healthy surrounding tissue.