Interventional Pulmonology

Interventional pulmonology has revolutionized the field of pulmonary (related to the lungs and breathing) medicine by providing the most advanced minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat both malignant and non-malignant disorders of the lungs and airways.

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For Patients

The Interventional Pulmonology (IP) Program at Michigan Medicine brings together a multidisciplinary team to provide resources and leading-edge treatment options not available at other hospitals.

Our expert multidisciplinary team includes skilled pulmonologists, radiology oncologists, thoracic and neck surgeons, and radiologists. Together, these specialists determine the best treatment option based on our comprehensive evaluation of each patient.

The Michigan Medicine IP Program cares for a wide range of patients, including those with:

Description of Interventional Pulmonology Procedures


Most interventional pulmonology procedures involve some form of bronchoscopy, which enables minimally invasive interventions using tiny cameras or surgical tools passed through a bronchoscope. The bronchoscope enables our team to look for and treat tumors, bleeding, inflammation or blockages in the lungs or airways; obtain fluid samples or tissue biopsies for testing; dilate areas; and implant stents — all without the patient having to undergo surgery, hospitalization and a long recovery.

Other Interventional Pulmonology Procedures

We also offer a variety of other interventional pulmonology procedures, including:

Airway ablation: Removes obstructions and opens the airways for patients with blocked or scarred airways.

Balloon dilation: Expands narrowed airways via a balloon passed through a bronchoscope.

Bronchial thermoplasty (BT): Delivers controlled thermal energy via bronchoscope to the airways, reducing the amount of smooth muscle that narrows the airways in patients with severe asthma. We are working with Njira Lugogo, M.D., director of the asthma program, in this area. For more information, visit our Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment or Comprehensive Asthma Management Program page.

Bronchoscopic fiducial placement and lung tattooing: Advanced bronchoscopic techniques, including robotic bronchoscopy, are used to locate lesions and implant fiducial seeds and ink (tattoo) with the goal to minimize the amount of tissue resected by our thoracic surgeons.

Pleuroscopy: The pleural cavity (the space between the two layers of tissue that line the lungs) is examined and biopsies can be taken under direct visualization. If necessary, a long-term tunneled pleural catheter is placed to remove and drain the pleural fluid, easing pressure and allowing the patient to breathe better.

Robotic bronchoscopy: Suspicious lung nodules could be biopsied using a robotic bronchoscope. This advanced technological equipment allows the physician to sample lesions located in the periphery of the lung as outpatient, with both increased yield and safety. If malignancy is found, tissue sampling of lymph nodes is performed at the same time.  

Stent placement: Silicone, metal or hybrid (silicone-covered metal) stents are placed via bronchoscopy in patients whose airways are blocked.

Zephyr® Endobronchial Valve: Features tiny valves placed in the airways of the lungs through a bronchoscope to treat COPD and emphysema patients. This allows healthy portions of the lungs to expand to enhance breathing. Michigan Medicine is one only a few hospitals in the state to offer this procedure. Patients are evaluated in our COPD Clinic, led by Dr. MeiLan Han

Outpatient Clinics

Interventional Pulmonology Clinic: Our dedicated Interventional Pulmonary Clinic offers therapeutic bronchoscopy for individuals with airway narrowing. This outpatient procedure can dramatically improve respiratory symptoms and performance status. We work closely with surgical teams in the diagnosis, management and follow-up of these patients, referring them when appropriate.

Advanced diagnostic bronchoscopy techniques such as narrow band imaging (NBI), endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) and electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (EMNB) assist in the initial diagnosis and staging of lung cancer, extrathoracic malignancies and benign disease.

Lung Cancer Screening Clinic: For people who are eligible for screening and decide to get screened, the chances of finding cancer early is higher. Finding cancer early generally means that there are more treatment options available. A recent study showed that after 6.5 years, among those who were eligible for screening, those who were screened with computed tomograph (CT) were 20 percent less likely to die from lung cancer compared to those who were not screened with CT. Learn more at the Should I Screen website.

Lung Nodule Clinic: At Michigan Medicine, a dedicated expert panel of multispecialty physicians evaluates and provides early diagnosis of lung nodules.

Pleural Clinic: This clinic provides comprehensive evaluation, minimally invasive procedures and follow-up in the outpatient setting for patients with pleural disease, including efflusions, pneumothorax and masses.

Clinical Research Opportunities

The Michigan Medicine Interventional Pulmonology Program is actively involved in clinical trials in conjunction with our world-renowned pulmonologists, medical and radiation oncologists, thoracic and ENT surgeons and interventional radiologists.

Make an Appointment

For information about our Interventional Pulmonology Program or to make an appointment, please call 888-287–1084.

For Referring Physicians

Minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic chest disease services are a tremendous asset to a multidisciplinary practice environment. The close interaction of IP with thoracic surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, lung transplant and pulmonary physicians provides the broadest array of clinical options for patient’s airway and pleural disease needs.

If you are a physician who would like to refer a patient to the Michigan Medicine Interventional Pulmonology Program or one of our clinics, please complete the referral form and fax it to us at 734-539-0317 or call M-Line at (800) 962-3555.  See the list below for airway and pleural procedures we offer.

Interventional Pulmonology Services Offered at Michigan Medicine

Airway Procedures

Therapeutic Bronchoscopy Procedures and Airway Stenting/Dilatation

  • Rigid Bronchoscopy
  • Metallic, Silicone Stents and Montgomery T-Tubes 
  • Balloon Tracheoplasty and Bronchoplasty 
  • Percutaneous Tracheostomy
  • Whole Lung Lavage

Tumor Destruction and Control of Central Airway Bleeding

  • Microdebrider 
  • Electrocautery
  • Argon Plasma Coagulation
  • Laser
  • Cryotherapy
  • Photodynamic Therapy

Endobronchial Therapy

  • Bronchial Thermoplasty for severe asthma
  • Endobronchial valve lung volume reduction (one-way valves)
  • Steroid Injection 
  • Endobronchial Administration of Mitomycin
  • Fiducial Placement 
  • Lung tattooing

Advanced Diagnostic Bronchoscopy

Diagnostic Modalities for Diagnosis of Early Lung Cancer

  • Narrow Band Imaging
  • Radial EBUS: Assessment of Airway Invasion

Diagnostic Modalities for Diagnosis of Peripheral Lung Lesions

  • Electronavigational Bronchoscopy
  • Radial EBUS and Fluoroscopy 

Diagnostic Modalities for Lymph Node Sampling

  • Linear EBUS: Real-Time Sampling with Transbronchial Needle Aspirate

Pleural Procedures

  • Chest Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound-Guided Thoracentesis
  • Pleural Manometry 
  • Management and Treatment of Persistent Bronchopleural/Alveolopleural Fistulas
  • Ultrasound-Guided Small and Large Bore Chest Tube Placement
  • Surgical Chest Tubes
  • Tunneled Pleural Catheters
  • Thoracoscopy, Pleural Biopsy and Chemical Pleurodesis

Refer a Patient

If you are a physician who would like to refer a patient to the Interventional Pulmonology Program or one of our clinics, please complete the referral form and fax it to us at 734-539-0317 or call M-Line at (800) 962-3555.  See the list above for airway and pleural procedures we offer.