Every cell in human body from tip of the hair to toe is important. Heart, brain, lungs are some of the vital organs of a human body.
Lungs act as a life support system in a human body and itâ€™s complicated in its own different way.
Dr Sameer Arbat,Â MBBS, MD CHEST, Fellowship Interventional Pulmonology (Italy)Â Interventional Pulmonologist, KRIMS Hospitals has dealt with patients facing problems Â on Interventional Pulmonology.
What is Interventional Pulmonology?
Interventional Pulmonology is a relatively new specialty in pulmonaryÂ medicine. Interventional Pulmonology uses minimally invasive endoscopicÂ procedures for diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the airways, lungs, andÂ pleura.
What are the various Interventional Pulmonology procedures?
Procedures for Interventional Pulmonology include flexible bronchoscopy,Â Bronchoscopic biopsies, Airway stent (bronchial stent), Rigid bronchoscopy,Â Thoracoscopy, Bronchial thermoplasty, Endobronchial ultrasound systemÂ (EBUS).
What are the advantages of Interventional Pulmonology ?
Interventional Pulmonology allows the pulmonologist to diagnose variousÂ lung diseases at an early stage and with higher accuracy. Early diagnosis helps inÂ early and better treatment of the disease. The emergence of Intervention hasÂ been very important in diagnosis of lung cancer and its treatment. InterventionalÂ pulmonology procedures offer the potential advantage of avoiding more invasiveÂ surgery. For example, before Interventional Pulmonology, biopsy of lymph nodesÂ in the chest required chest wall surgery which has many risks. Now biopsy ofÂ lymph nodes in the chest with an EBUS machine is an outpatient procedure,Â letting the patient go back home on the very same day.
What are the commonly encountered respiratory problems?
Common respiratory problems are asthma, COPD, pharyngitis, chronicÂ bronchitis, tuberculosis, Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILDs), Pleural effusion, SleepÂ Apneas and lung cancer.
How are these respiratory problems diagnosed or treated with InterventionalÂ Pulmonology procedures?
Interventional Pulmonology has the advantage of early and accurate diagnosisÂ and treatment of various respiratory problems. For example,
- Bronchial Thermoplasty is a novel procedure used to treat asthma which isÂ difficult to control with medicines.
- Endobronchial Ultrasound or EBUS is essential for early diagnosis of lungÂ cancer and Tuberculosis.
- Patient with airway tumour and ILDs are diagnosed more accurately withÂ Cryobiopsy.
- Endobronchial stents are useful in improving the quality of life of patients ofÂ airway tumours.
- Medical thoracoscopy is now emerging as a standard procedure for diagnosis and treatment of pleural effusion, which is basically fluid filling inside the chest wall.
What is EBUS?
EBUS or EndoBronchial UltraSound is a bronchoscope with an ultrasoundÂ probe attached to it. EBUS allows visualisation of lymph nodes around the heartÂ for easy sampling. These lymph nodes get enlarged when a person is sufferingÂ from cancer or any infection. EBUS has a very high accuracy in diagnosingÂ cancer, tuberculosis and sarcoidosis.
What is Cryobiopsy?
The Cryoprobe is an advanced instrument which can freeze the target tissue toÂ a very low temperature. This frozen tissue can then be sampled or removedÂ easily. Cryobiopsy is very useful for sampling of lung tissue or complete removalÂ of tumour mass obstructing the airway. Cryobiopsy helps obtaining biggerÂ samples thus giving higher accuracy and avoiding repeat procedures.
What is Rigid Bronchoscopy?
The rigid bronchoscope has a larger diameter which allows the doctor to useÂ more sophisticated surgical tools and techniques to take biopsies, put airwayÂ stents or remove inhaled foreign objects. This is always performed under generalÂ anaesthesia inside an Operation Theatre.
What are Airway Stents?
Airway stent or bronchial stents are made of metal or silicon. Using aÂ bronchoscope, a stent is put in a narrowed airway which is often caused due toÂ cancer or tuberculosis. These stents are often life saving in such cases.
Are there any risks involved in all these interventional procedures?
Most of these procedures are associated with minimal risks, most commonÂ being bleeding or cough, both of which can be easily controlled with medicine.Â Many of these procedures are performed on a day-care basis and the patient canÂ go home on the very same day. Also, it is imperative that only experts skilled inÂ the use of thisÂ equipment’sÂ shouldÂ perform Interventional procedures.
Are these procedures routinely performed in Nagpur city?
Yes. The department of Pulmonology at KRIMS Hospitals, Nagpur has been aÂ pioneer department in the country and has been offering advancedÂ Interventional care since past 30 years. We are the first and only department inÂ Central India to have both the Cryotherapy and EBUS Unit. We have performedÂ more than 800 procedures in the past 3 years including thoracoscopies,Â cryobiopsy and EBUS. Our team comprises of 6 dedicated pulmonologists with aÂ fully equipped ICU and critical care team.
Do you advise any steps to avoid lung diseases?
Yes, it is very essential for everyone to adapt a healthy lifestyle which includesÂ healthy diet and regular exercise. Smokers should quit smoking, which includesÂ cigarettes, E- cigarettes and hukka or sheesha. Regular health check up can alsoÂ help in preventing complications. Patients suffering from respiratory problemsÂ should take their medicines regularly and have a regular follow up with theÂ doctor.
As the world will celebrate No tobacco day on May 31, one should avoid consuming products like cigarettes, sheesha, tobacco for a healthy and better life. Say No to Tobacco.