Interventional Bronchoscopy

Interventional bronchology are procedures that utilise minimally invasive techniques with the insertion of a camera (either flexible or rigid) into the airways to manipulate the airways or lungs, for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

Dr Wu is one of the leading interventional pulmonologists in Australia, with expertise in various areas of diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopy. Dr Wu has unique skills in rigid bronchoscopy, laser bronchoscopy and insertion and removal of Dumon stents, which are techniques that are used to treat both malignant and non-malignant major/central airway obstruction. Dr Wu set up the endobronchial ultrasound guided transbronchial needle aspirate biopsy (EBUS-TBNA) Service to Westmead in 2011 and currently provides an EBUS-TBNA service through both the Westmead Public Hospital and Westmead Private Hospital. This is a technique for safe biopsy of lymph glands in the chest under ultrasound guidance, which is commonly used for lung cancer diagnosis and staging, as well as the diagnosis of other diseases of lymph glands in the chest, such as sarcoidosis, tuberculosis or lymphoma. Dr Wu is currently involved in trials of bronchoscopic lung volume reduction surgery with endobronchial valves, which are valves designed to collapse the damaged emphysematous parts of the lung, in order to allow the remaining good parts of the lung to work better, in select patients with severe emphysema/ chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)/ chronic airways limitation (CAL). This has been shown to improve function, reduce breathlessness and improve quality of life of patients.

Dr Wu also has expertise in pleural diseases and introduced implantable pleural catheters in 2009 to Westmead, to assist in the outpatient management of pleural effusions due to cancer.

Dr Wu has a weekly bronchoscopy list at Westmead Public Hospital on Monday mornings, and a fortnightly bronchoscopy list at Westmead Private Hospital on Friday afternoons. The bronchoscopic procedures will usually be performed as a day-only procedure. More complex bronchoscopic procedures may require overnight admission to Westmead Public Hospital or Westmead Private Hospital. Pleural procedures maybe performed as a day-only procedure at Westmead Public Hospital or as part of an elective admission to Westmead Public Hospital (eg Indwelling or “tunneled” pleural catheter or “Pleurx” catheter insertion).

If your condition requires a procedure to be performed, Dr Wu will discuss with you how the procedure itself is conducted, as well as the potential risks and benefits of the procedure. During the consultation, you will be provided with all the information regarding cost, appropriate preparation for the procedure and have discussions regarding the required aftercare.

The procedures that Dr Wu performs includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)
  • Endobronchial biopsy
  • Transbronchial lung biopsy
  • Endobronchial ultrasound (linear EBUS, radial EBUS) and ‘blind’ transbronchial needle aspirate biopsy of lymph nodes
  • Endobronchial valve insertion
  • Balloon dilatation
  • Rigid bronchoscopy insertion
  • Laser bronchoscopy
  • Endobronchial (Dumon) stent insertion
  • Implantable pleural catheter insertion (“Pleurx”)