Interventional pulmonology is a relatively new field in pulmonary medicine that focuses on using minimally invasive techniques for a wide range of lung and chest conditions, including asthma, emphysema and lung cancer. These innovative procedures are helping reshape pulmonary care.
Advanced Asthma Care
Bronchial thermoplasty, one of the newest advancements in interventional pulmonology, can provide relief for adult patients with severe asthma. Sutter Health is one of the few healthcare providers in Northern California that offers this FDA-approved technique.
Bronchial thermoplasty uses radiofrequency energy to heat and thin the smooth muscle walls of airways, without scarring or damaging them. When irritants trigger asthma attacks, the thinned walls cannot narrow as much as before, reducing asthma symptoms.
Surgical Biopsy Alternatives
Transbronchial cryobiopsy, approved by the FDA, offers an alternative to a surgical lung biopsy. A surgical instrument, called a cryoprobe, applies extreme cold and extracts large pieces of tissue from the periphery of your lung. With this technique, bleeding is minimized and patients spend less time after surgery on a mechanical ventilator.
New Bronchial Valve Treatment
Endoscopic lung volume reduction using the IBV Valve System is a new bronchial valve treatment that has received Humanitarian Device Exemption approval from the FDA. This procedure can control prolonged air leaks following lung surgeries such as pulmonary lobectomy, segmentectomy, or lung volume reduction surgery.
Patients who are not eligible for invasive surgeries – such as lung transplant and lung volume reduction surgery – may also benefit from this new technique.