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Yale Interventional Pulmonary Program

Yale Interventional Pulmonary offers the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to various diseases in the chest, including lung nodules and masses, enlarged lymph nodes (mediastinal adenopathy), complex airways and pleural effusions. Our trained interventional pulmonologists are leaders in the field and have more experience than anybody in the state and surrounding area. Our goal is to provide an expedited, comprehensive assessment and state-of-the-art treatment with the following services:

Diagnostic bronchoscopy

  • Robotic bronchoscopy: Yale IP was the first in the state to utilize the new shape-sensing robotic bronchoscopy. Robotic bronchoscopy is an accurate, safe, and efficient method biopsies of peripheral lung abnormalities. When done in our state-of-the-art procedural rooms, robotic bronchoscopy combined with simultaneous cone-beam CT scanning and endobronchial ultrasound allow us to reach previously inaccessible parts of the lung, for even greater precision in the diagnosis and staging of potential lung cancer.
  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS): The Yale IP physicians have the most experience in the state with EBUS. Whether using convex probe EBUS for mediastinal lymph node enlargement, often circumventing the need for more invasive procedures like mediastinoscopy, or peripheral EBUS for lung nodules, our program provides the greatest diagnostic accuracy possible with the bronchoscope.

Therapeutic bronchoscopic interventions

  • Airway stenting: The Yale IP physicians perform flexible and rigid bronchoscopy to place any type of stent available for complex airway disease. This includes obstruction due to cancer as well as the unique “Y-stents” for tracheobronchomalacia.
  • Ablative therapy: Argon plasma coagulation (APC), electrocautery or cryotherapy can be used to treat malignant tumors or benign growths in the main airways of the lungs.
  • Bronchoplasty: Our physicians use balloons similar to those used in angioplasty for heart disease to make airways bigger so that breathing is easier. This is often used for tumors, scarring after radiation treatment, or other conditions.
  • Endobronchial valves: Yale bronchoscopic lung volume reduction program (BLVR) was designed to care for patients with severe emphysema who continue to experience shortness of breath and limitations with activities of daily living despite optimal medical management. The multidisciplinary program was established by Yale Medicine’s distinguished interventional pulmonologists, COPD experts, thoracic surgeons, physician assistants, nurses, and support staff to provide latest, evidence-based, individualized care and an opportunity to participate in clinical trials.

Advanced pleural procedures

  • Thoracentesis: We provide ultrasound-guided thoracentesis and determine the next steps needed for patients with pleural effusions. We provide unique, ongoing care to help prevent this fluid from returning.
  • Medical thoracoscopy (pleuroscopy): Biopsies of the pleura are sometimes needed to help determine the cause of recurrent pleural effusions. We perform this procedure typically as an outpatient and often with concurrent pleurodesis and/or tunneled pleural catheter placement.
  • Tunneled pleural catheter placement: We can place a pleurx® or similar catheter so that a patient does not need to have repeated thoracentesis if the pleural effusion recurs.

In collaboration with thoracic surgery as well as the physicians of the Thoracic Oncology Program (TOP), the Yale IP team provides unmatched services in bronchoscopic and pleural procedures. Furthermore, we continue to perform research to ensure the most advanced care possible.