Purpose of review: Interventional pulmonology is a rapidly expanding field offering less invasive therapeutic procedures for significant pulmonary problems. Many of the therapies may be new for the anesthesiologist. Although less invasive than surgery, some of these procedures will carry significant risks and complications. The team approach by anesthesiologist and pulmonologist is key to the success of these procedures.
Recent findings: Many modalities for central airway obstruction have emerged, including the expanding application of airway stenting procedures. Diagnostic bronchoscopy with ultrasound guidance promises great advances in lung cancer staging. New bronchoscopic treatments of asthma and emphysema are actively under investigation. Advances in anesthetic agents and techniques for interventional pulmonology procedures have also occurred.
Summary: This review is intended to familiarize the anesthesiologist with current and rising therapeutic modalities for pulmonary disease. Knowledge of interventional pulmonology facilitates planning and preparation for well tolerated and effective procedures.