The Interventional Pulmonology Department at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) treats lung cancer and the related symptoms that can cause discomfort, like shortness of breath, coughing or chest pain, all without performing surgery. The team also treats patients with cancers that metastasize to the lungs and patients with other chronic lung diseases.
What is an interventional pulmonologist?
An interventional pulmonologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the lungs and respiratory system. Specifically, interventional pulmonologists perform aggressive interventional procedures in the airways and chest cavity, including advanced bronchoscopic and pleuroscopic techniques.
Experienced interventional pulmonology team
In addition to treating tumors, many pulmonology techniques and procedures can significantly improve your quality of life. At CTCA®, your team includes oncologists and pulmonologists who work together to tailor these lung cancer treatments to your specific needs.
When you arrive at CTCA, if pulmonary medicine is part of your care, you’ll meet with the interventional pulmonology team. Before you begin treatment, we’ll use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and procedures to evaluate the location and stage of cancer, as well as the existence of metastasis.
Using the results, we will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that best suits your needs. Throughout your care, the interventional pulmonology team will help answer your questions and do everything possible to make your treatment experience as comfortable and efficient as possible.
We specialize in advanced, minimally invasive bronchoscopy techniques for many of our interventional pulmonology procedures. We provide a full range of interventional pulmonology treatment options for each patient, including those with late-stage disease. We can apply innovative techniques and ablative treatments to help remove obstructions in the airway and relieve pain or breathing problems.
Bronchoscopy is a technology that uses a flexible tube with a camera at the end (a bronchoscope) that allows us to look inside the lungs and airway. We use the bronchoscope to deliver laser and other cancer-killing technologies to tumors buried deep inside the lungs. As a result, we can manage symptoms like bleeding or coughing, open up a blocked airway and treat a very early stage lung cancer or a previously treated area. Our lung cancer patients benefit from bronchoscopy procedures because they minimize the risks of more invasive treatments.
Navigational bronchoscopy combines advanced imaging techniques with electromagnetic navigation to help find and treat cancer anywhere in the lungs. We use navigational bronchoscopy to reach distant tumors by advancing the scope into smaller bronchi or bronchi that are blocked by a tumor. Navigational bronchoscopy procedures may be used to:
- Suction excess fluid or mucus from the airway or chest
- Control bleeding in the airway
- Therapeutically remove foreign bodies from the airway, such as aspirated food
- Treat growths or tumors in the airway using radiation (i.e., HDR brachytherapy)
- Place airway stents
Explore interventional pulmonology procedures
What cancers does the interventional pulmonology team treat?
The interventional pulmonology team provides advanced cancer treatments for any cancer that affects the lung. This includes primary lung cancer as well as other cancers that spread (metastasize) to the lung and airways. The team also treats lung problems, such as an obstruction in the airway, regardless of the type of cancer that caused the blockage.
Breast, colon, renal cell (kidney), melanoma and esophageal cancer are examples of common cancer types that spread to the lung and airways.
The interventional pulmonology team at Southwestern
Dr. Daniel Nader, National Clinical Director of Pulmonary/Critical Care at CTCA at Southwestern Regional Medical Center (Southwestern), has led the Interventional Pulmonology Program since its inception in 1992. It offers patients with lung cancer access to some of the most sophisticated technology available for cancer diagnosis and treatment.
“We’re second to none in what we offer,” says Carla Rausch, manager of respiratory therapy at Southwestern.
A highly regarded interventional pulmonologist, Dr. Nader has performed over 4,500 bronchoscopy procedures and provided over 1,500 High-Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy treatments. His multi-specialty team includes pulmonologists; surgical, medical and radiation oncologists; and radiologists, who work closely together to provide you with integrated, individualized care.