Your airway is a branching system that includes the trachea (main windpipe) and bronchi (the branches into the lungs). Various conditions can affect these structures, making it difficult for you to breathe or complete daily tasks. Some can also threaten your body’s ability to get enough oxygen or even limit your lifespan.
Memorial Healthcare System treats a wide range of lung and airway diseases. Learn more about the surgical treatments we offer.
Lung and Airway Diseases We Treat
Memorial’s thoracic surgeons offer procedures to treat lung and airway diseases, such as:
Bronchiectasis occurs when the bronchi become damaged from infections that don’t go away. The bronchi dilate (widen) so that the infection is even harder to treat. With advanced bronchiectasis, you are always ill from infection with a cough, fatigue and weight loss. You may need surgery if other treatments, such as antibiotics, are no longer effective.
A bulla is like a blister of air in the lung, and bullous lung disease occurs when you have multiple bullae. Bullae are most common in people with emphysema, but many people are born with them. If bullae become large enough, they put pressure on the lung and can make breathing more difficult. They can also rupture and cause a pneumothorax (see next section).
Also known as a collapsed lung, pneumothorax occurs when air escapes from the lung and gets trapped in the space between the lung and chest wall. It can happen after an injury or because of an underlying disease. Sometimes it happens for no reason at all.
A tracheal or bronchial tumor is a growth that starts in the airway wall. It can grow into the airway and block air flow. These tumors may be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). They can be life-threatening.
Effective treatment requires experience with a variety of techniques, including laser, advanced bronchoscopy and often complex surgery to remove the affected portion of the airway and reconstruct it.
The trachea is the name for the main windpipe that connects your voice box (larynx) to your lungs. This tube can become narrow due to injury or disease. Scarring from a previous tracheostomy or endotracheal tube is a frequent cause of narrowing (stenosis).
After a Lung Cancer Scare, Tara Credits Memorial for Saving Her Life
Mark Block, MD, Chief, Thoracic Surgery, identified cancer in Tara’s lung that others had diagnosed as histoplasmosis, a fungus with no need for follow-up. His diagnosis and her treatment at Memorial Cancer Institute, a Florida Cancer Center of Excellence, helped her to survive.
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