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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Interventional Pulmonology

In the wake of advances in endoscopy, Northwestern Memorial’s Interventional Pulmonology Program offers new opportunities for treatment of critical health problems in the airway and pleural space.

What Is Interventional Pulmonology?

Interventional pulmonology offers rapid, effective treatment that requires minimal follow-up on the part of the patient, and maximizes their quality of life.

The Interventional Pulmonology Program, a key part of the Thoracic Surgery program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, provides timely, critical care for patients with central airway obstruction resulting from benign and malignant diseases.

While interventional pulmonology treats airway obstruction that may result from cancer, it is also used to treat benign (non-cancerous) diseases of the central airway, including:

  • Tracheobronchomalacia (weakening and/or collapse of the bronchial cartilage)
  • Tracheal or sub-glottic stenosis (narrowing of these regions of the airway)
  • Relapsing polychondritis (inflammation of bronchial cartilage)
  • Amyloidosis (so-called “bad proteins” that can accumulate in a region of the body)
  • Tracheobronchial papillomatosis (human papillomavirus infection in the airway)
  • Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (a condition that interferes with ability to take in oxygen because of blockage of the alveoli)
  • Wegener’s granulomatosis (inflammation of blood vessels of the lungs, nose, kidneys and other organs)

Meet Our Team

Our interventional pulmonologists are:

Interventional pulmonologists also work collaboratively with physicians from disciplines including:

Thoracic Surgery
Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat)
Pulmonology & Critical Care
Respiratory Therapy
Speech Therapy





Areas treated include the complex airway and the pleural space (the two-layered membrane that covers the lungs).

Treatments by Area

Treatments offered by interventional pulmonologists may include:


  • Therapeutic bronchoscopy for central airway obstruction
  • Diagnostic bronchoscopy for sampling mediastinal lymph nodes and peripheral lung nodules
  • Airway management through percutaneous tracheostomy and direct laryngoscopy
  • Stenting—use of silicone, metallic or other hybrid materials to shore up the bronchial passages

Pleural Space

  • Diagnostic procedures such as thoracic ultrasound or medical pleuroscopy
  • Therapeutic procedures such as chest tube placement or the use of tunneled pleural catheters
  • Pleurodesis, artificial irritation of the pleural space intended to prevent collapse of the lung or pleural effusion (excessive buildup of fluid in the pleural space)


To schedule an appointment, or for more information about the Thoracic Surgery Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, call 312-695-3800 or 1-877-926-4664, or request a first time appointment online.

Last UpdateJanuary 30, 2013