Interventional Pulmonology

Minimally invasive lung procedures

Interventional pulmonology is a developing field of pulmonology. These lung specialists focus on minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat lung diseases and breathing disorders. Compared to surgery performed through an open-chest incision, these procedures provide several important benefits for the patient:

  • Less pain
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery
  • Little scarring

Interventional pulmonologists have advanced training to use highly-specialized endoscopes and other tools to treat lung conditions without open surgery. We use tiny incisions or pass small devices through your mouth or nose.

The Aurora BayCare Advantage
Aurora BayCare offers interventional pulmonology services in a state-of-the-art facility. Our treatment suites are equipped with the latest technology for endoscopic pulmonary procedures. With our distinct capabilities, we offer minimally invasive treatment options in place of traditional open surgery whenever possible.

Our advantage:

  • Aurora BayCare is the only hospital in the region offering select interventional pulmonary procedures.
  • First hospital in Wisconsin to offer endobronchial valves for patients with advanced emphysema or COPD
  • First hospital in Wisconsin to offer robotic bronchoscopy
  • First lung care team in the area to have a board-certified interventional pulmonologist.

Our interventional pulmonologists offer expertise in bronchoscopy, endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), thoracoscopy, and electromagnetic navigation (EMN). We have the expertise and technology to help many patients who would traditionally be treated with more invasive procedures.

Robotic Bronchoscopy
Bronchoscopy is the most common kind of interventional pulmonology procedure. Your doctor uses a bronchoscope, a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light and small camera. During a bronchoscopy, your doctor passes the bronchoscope through your mouth or nose, down into your airways. The procedure is used to take a tissue sample or treat a targeted issue area.

Aurora BayCare is the first hospital in Wisconsin to offer robotic bronchoscopy. The robotic bronchoscope can travel deeper into the lung and navigate through complex airways. The robotic platform offers greater reach than ever before, meaning we can diagnose lung cancer at an earlier stage, without invasive surgery.

Minimally Invasive Diagnostic Procedures
The pulmonologists at Aurora BayCare use a variety of minimally invasive procedures to diagnose lung conditions. Different tools help us take tissue samples and visualize your respiratory system. Diagnostic procedures include bronchoscopy, thoracoscopy, and pleuroscopy:

  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) uses a bronchoscope with an ultrasound tip to take a sample of lymph node tissue.
  • Electromagnetic navigation (EMN) bronchoscopy uses a GPS-like system to reach the exact location of lung lesions. This procedure can be used to place treatment markers for people having stereotactic radiation therapy to treat lung cancer.
  • Thoracoscopy uses a thin flexible tube inserted through a small incision in the chest. This allows your doctor to see the area between your lungs and the membrane covering your lungs.
  • Transbronchial cryobiopsy uses a flexible cryoprobe (a specialized tool used to apply extreme cold) to obtain a tissue sample.

Minimally Invasive Treatments
Our pulmonologists treat lung conditions using a variety of minimally invasive procedures, including:

  • Airway stenting uses a stent inserted into your central airway to hold it open and help you breathe easier.
  • Balloon bronchoplasty dilates narrowed airways using a balloon passed through a bronchoscope.
  • Bronchial thermoplasty uses a small catheter to deliver mild heat inside the airways to reduce excessive smooth muscle tissue. This decreases the muscle’s ability to constrict the airways, resulting in fewer asthma attacks.
  • Endobronchial valve placement for advanced emphysema, COPD, and persistent air leaks.
  • Cryotherapy uses cold to destroy cancerous tumors or other airway obstructions.
  • Photodynamic therapy uses a bronchoscopy procedure to reach laser-activated drugs to destroy cancerous tumors.
  • Thoracentesis uses imaging guidance to insert a needle into your chest and remove fluid from the area around your lungs.

Our Interventional Pulmonology Team
Aurora BayCare has the first board-certified interventional pulmonologist in Northeast Wisconsin. This doctor partners with other lung surgeons who specialize in a range of minimally invasive and conventional lung treatments. Our lung care team provides the latest lung therapies including airway stenting, bronchial thermoplasty, and navigational bronchoscopy.

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