Advanced techniques to diagnose and treat lung and airway conditions.
We know a diagnosis of a pulmonary (lung and airways) disease can be frightening to patients and families. That’s why the Henry Ford Health System Interventional Pulmonology (IP) team provides comprehensive care. We help every patient and family throughout a patient’s diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
Our IP program is one of the most experienced in the U.S. We launched our program in 1982 . Today we operate one of the nation’s most advanced procedure suites. Here, you’ll have access to expert IP specialists. You can also receive the latest in minimally invasive lung treatments and diagnostics.
What is interventional pulmonology?
When you’re having trouble breathing, your doctor may need to take a closer look at your airways or lungs. For some conditions, doctors need to access your airways to repair problems or open up the lungs so you can breathe easier.
IP doctors use small, precise instruments to examine the lungs and airways without surgery. Doctors can also diagnose and treat lung problems and problems in the pleura (the space around the lungs). Find out more about our Interventional Pulmonology Center and Bronchoscopy Suite.
Why choose Henry Ford for interventional pulmonology care?
The IP program at Henry Ford is the only one in Michigan that is comprehensive. We offer all advanced IP diagnostics and therapeutics for the lungs and pleura. Under our care, you’ll find:
- Complete care for complex problems: We work closely with thoracic (chest) surgeons, ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialists, and medical and radiation oncologists (doctors specializing in cancer).
- Leading-edge tools and research: We seek out promising new procedures to help our patients. For instance, Henry Ford soon will be one of the first U.S. sites to use a new robotic bronchoscopy tool. The robot will allow physicians to more accurately reach problems in the farthest portions of the lung. Deep, intricate airways are too tiny for standard surgical equipment.
- Advanced diagnosis: Our IP specialists use the full spectrum of techniques to find the cause of pulmonary trauma or disease. Making the most of technology and skill, we can identify the source of problems, even deep within the lungs.
- Expertise in benign and malignant conditions: We treat patients from around the world for noncancerous (benign) conditions. We care for airway damage from accidents, infections and trauma. We also treat patients who have malignant conditions, including lung cancer and cancers that spread to the lungs.
- Personalized, integrated care: Our IP team is a key part of our weekly thoracic cancer tumor board. At this meeting, our cancer experts and specialists from other fields come together to review each patient’s case in detail. Then we collaborate to design effective, personalized treatment plans.
- Interventional pulmonologist trainers: Here, you will work with interventional pulmonologists who are so experienced that they train other doctors. Doctors from around the U.S. and the world come to us to learn the latest IP techniques. Healthcare professionals can learn more about our Research in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine.
Interventional pulmonology treatments for lung problems
We treat benign (non-cancerous) and malignant diseases that affect your breathing.
- Cancer treatment: We remove cancer from patients’ airways. We may remove primary tumors of the lung (lung cancer that begins in the lung) or tumors from other cancers that spread to the lungs (metastatic). Metastatic tumors — from conditions like breast cancer, colon cancer or prostate cancer — are known as secondary tumors. Learn more about bronchoscopy and interventional pulmonology for lung cancer.
- Care for noncancerous diseases, lung trauma and infection: We use minimally invasive techniques to stop bleeding and close holes created in the lungs by accidents or infections. These processes can restore your lung function or make breathing easier. We work with the lung and pulmonary team to help patients manage chronic lung disease. Read about our treatments for lung and airway conditions.
- Treatments for pleural conditions: Sometimes, diseases affect the pleura, the thin layer of tissue that surrounds the lungs within the chest. The lungs need the pleura to function properly. Tumors, infections and injuries can affect the pleura and limit your ability to breathe. We can help, often without surgery. Learn about treatments for pleural disease.
- Whole lung lavage (WLL): By “washing” the insides of the lungs, we can remove buildup to make breathing easier for people living with pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP). PAP is a rare condition where material builds up in the alveoli (tiny air sacs in the lungs). At Henry Ford, we can perform WLL on both lungs in one procedure. Find out more about whole lung lavage.
Advanced techniques to diagnose lung disease
Our interventional pulmonologists frequently use a procedure called bronchoscopy to diagnose lung diseases and other airway problems, including lung cancer. A bronchoscope is a hollow, flexible tube that the doctor can see through. The bronchoscope has a light and a camera that can take photos or video. Your doctor can also use the bronchoscope to take samples (biopsies) of the lungs.
Bronchoscopy is minimally invasive. It doesn’t require surgery or incisions, and patients usually go home the same day. Learn more about diagnosis using bronchoscopy and interventional pulmonology.