Inova Lung Services — Programs and Services — Interventional Pulmonology
Interventional Pulmonology Program
Inova's Interventional Pulmonology Program is an advanced subspecialty of pulmonary medicine focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases. Our nationally recognized program treats more patients than any other program in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Working together with thoracic surgeons, oncologists and radiation oncologists, our team offers a multidisciplinary approach and personalized treatment of complex airways and pleural diseases, including lung cancer and non-malignant diseases of the chest.
Few programs integrate interventional pulmonology and thoracic surgery to the degree available on the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus. Our highly sub-specialized experts offer a rare combination of talents and work in a coordinated fashion to generate exceptional outcomes for patients, while employing the latest in minimally invasive techniques.
Conditions We Treat
Interventional Pulmonlogy focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of complex airway and pleural disease, including:
The airways are long tubular structures leading to the lungs. Lung cancer can invade the airways and block these tubes. In order to improve breathing, we surgically remove invading tumors bronchoscopically utilizing modalities such as radiofrequency ablation, cryotherapy, laser therapy, and electrocautery. Additionally, airway stents (tubes) can be placed within the airways after the tumor is removed, to help hold the airway open.
Airway stenosis is narrowing of the tubes leading to the lungs. Narrowing of the airways can develop for a number of reasons and can result in significant shortness of breath. Affected airways can be treated with several interventions including balloon dilations, laser incisions, and steroid injections.
Lymph nodes are structures positioned throughout the body to filter blood. Lymph nodes can become enlarged for a number of reasons, such as infection, inflammation, and cancer. One of the best ways to diagnose the cause of enlargement of lymph nodes in the chest is endobronchial ultrasound bronchoscopy (EBUS). This procedure is an extremely sensitive and specific procedure for diagnosing lung cancer, in addition to benign diseases. The Inova Interventional Pulmonology team performs more EBUS bronchoscopies than any other hospital in the metropolitan DC area.
Foreign bodies can be aspirated into the trachea and lodge into the large airways resulting in cough and shortness of breath. We are able to remove foreign bodies utilizing a rigid bronchoscope.
Lung cancer remains the most deadly form of cancer in both men and women in the United States. Lung cancer can present as nodules within the lung (spot on lung), enlarged lymph nodes, or obstruction of the airway. Diagnosis of lung cancer often includes biopsies of the lung. These biopsies not only confirm the presence of cancer, but also determine if lung cancer can be surgically removed or treated with chemotherapy or radiation. Advanced bronchoscopy plays an essential role in the diagnosis of lung cancer by traveling to distant portions of the lung to biopsy. Additionally, molecular testing on cancerous tissue is essential for providing cutting edge treatment for metastatic lung cancers.
Lung nodules are spots on the lung less than 3 centimeters in size and surrounded by lung tissue. Lung nodules can represent a wide variety of diseases, including lung cancer. These nodules can be found throughout the lung and, if not diagnosed and treated, can grow. The Inova Interventional Pulmonology Team utilizes the most advanced technology available to diagnose lung nodules. These technologies include electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy, cone-beam computer tomography, and robotic bronchoscopy.
Lung transplant patients require close surveillance. Our team partners with the Inova Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Program to perform various procedures including bronchoscopy and pleural fluid drainage.
This condition occurs when fluid collects between the lung and chest wall. This fluid can result in shortness of breath and an increase in the work of breathing. Fluid around the lung can develop for various reasons such as heart failure, infection, and cancer. The best way to identify the cause of this fluid often involves draining and testing the fluid.
Tracheobronchomalacia, also referred to as “airway malacia” is a condition where the airways are excessively collapsible or “floppy.” When airways are too collapsible, patients are unable to exhale effectively, resulting in shortness of breath. The best way to diagnose airway malacia is via bronchoscopy. Utilization of stent trials allow physicians to assess if surgical interventions are beneficial for the treatment of tracheobronchomalacia.
Facts about lung cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. In fact, each year more people die from lung cancer than breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer combined. Despite significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, it remains a major health problem. While smoking is a key factor in the development of lung cancer, some cancers may develop as a result of genetic abnormalities in patients who have never smoked. The ability to diagnose and treat lung cancer early is essential to survival.
Click here for a list of publications by our director, Dr. Amit “Bobby” Mahajan
For more information about Inova Interventional Pulmonology Program or to schedule an appointment, please call 703-280-5858.