Advanced care for respiratory illness and sleep apnea
The respiratory care team at Ascension St. Vincent's Lung Institute listens to understand your health needs. Our pulmonologists offer a wide range of tests for symptoms that affect how you breathe and sleep. Through our outpatient clinics, we offer specialized care for many lung conditions, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, lung infections, recurring bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, sleep apnea, and more.
Ascension St. Vincent's pulmonary medicine and sleep medicine specialists offer many types of procedure and services which include:
Interventional pulmonology uses small, precise instruments to examine the lung and airways without surgery. The primary advantage of interventional pulmonology is potentially avoiding more invasive surgery.
Some of the most common interventional pulmonology procedures include:
Flexible bronchoscopy- During bronchoscopy, a doctor advances a flexible endoscope (bronchoscope) through a person's mouth or nose into the windpipe. The doctor advances the bronchoscope through the airways in each lung, checking for problems. Images from inside the lung are displayed on a video screen.
The bronchoscope has a channel at its tip, through which a doctor can pass small tools. Using these tools, the doctor can perform several other interventional pulmonology procedures.
Bronchoalveolar lavage-. Bronchoalveolar lavage is performed during bronchoscopy. Sterile water is injected through the bronchoscope into a segment of the lung. The fluid is then suctioned back and sent for tests. Bronchoalveolar lavage can help diagnose infection, cancer, bleeding, and other conditions.
Biopsy of lung or lymph node- During bronchoscopy, a doctor may collect a small piece of tissue from either the lung or a nearby lymph node. The interventional pulmonologist can use a needle or forceps advanced through the bronchoscope to get a sample of tissue. Biopsies can detect cancer, infection, sarcoidosis, and other conditions.
Airway stent- Advanced cancer or certain other conditions can constrict or compress an airway tube (bronchus). If the bronchus becomes blocked, difficulty breathing, cough, and pneumonia can result.
Using a bronchoscope, a doctor can advance a wire mesh stent into a narrowed airway. Expanding the stent can open a bronchus and relieve symptoms caused by the constriction.
Lung Nodule Program
Pulmonary nodules are spots in the lung. Size ranges from 2mm to 3cm. After 3 cm it is characterized as a mass. Nodules are common and are often found accidentally on imaging completed for other reasons whether it be routine or through an emergency room. Nodules have a wide range of causes and most of them are benign. The challenge is determining which nodules are cancer.
The Ascension St. Vincent's Lung Institute Lung Nodule Clinic seeks to provide initial evaluation as well as management, and treatment of patients with lung nodules. Our mission is to determine if someone has cancer as early and as safely as possible using minimally invasive procedures. Early detection gives the patient a higher cure rate. If you are diagnosed with cancer, we have a specialized team of Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists and Surgeons who work together to provide ongoing care to help you manage the symptoms related to your disease that can develop during and after treatment.
Lung Nodule Clinic Services
- Fast access to initial consultation appointments. Patients are generally seen within a week of the office receiving the referral
- Evaluation of patients with single or multiple nodules, with recommendations for additional testing, monitoring, and/or treatment if appropriate
- Advanced, state-of-the-art minimally invasive procedures to evaluate nodules, diagnose cancer, and to manage symptoms associated with cancer
- Coordination of specialty care with thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists to expedite treatment
How do I know if I have sleep apnea? Sleep is a time of rest for the entire body, renewing a person's mental and physical health each day. So, when we don't get enough sleep or do not get a quality sleep, we do not feel refreshed/restored or rejuvenated. This can cause multiple problems including fatigue, headaches, memory problems, significant health issues, personality changes and irritability to name a few. It may even lead to accidents and injuries.
If you experience excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Ascension's Sleep Disorders Centers can help you get the rest you need. We have doctors who specialize in sleep-related medical concerns.
Common sleep disturbances treated by our sleep specialists include:
- Sleep apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)
- Circadian rhythm disorders
Left untreated, sleep problems can contribute to significant health problems such as high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms or heart disease, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, clinical depression, and other serious conditions. Sleep problems are also associated with increased cancer risks.
For sleep medicine studies, our care team offers in-hospital sleep lab testing and home-based sleep tests. Our sleep specialists treat many types of sleep disorders from obstructive sleep apnea to snoring and insomnia.
Ascension St. Vincent's is the first health system in Florida to participate in a clinical trial for an investigational treatment option for patients who have frequent Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exacerbations, also known as lung attacks.
The AIRFLOW-3 Clinical Trial is evaluating the safety and effectiveness of targeted lung denervation (TLD), a bronchoscopic intervention designed to disrupt pulmonary nerve reflexes, which may reduce COPD lung attacks.
COPD is a group of diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis that can cause breathing-related problems and block airflow. Symptoms include frequent coughing or wheezing, shortness of breath, trouble taking a deep breath, and producing excess phlegm, mucus, or sputum. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of Americans have been diagnosed with COPD and more than 50 percent of adults with low lung function didn't realize that they had COPD, so the actual number could be even higher.
Patients with moderate-to-severe COPD, high symptom burden, and a history of COPD flare-ups may qualify for the clinical trial. Patients who think they may qualify can learn more by calling (904) 308-5761.
Ascension St. Vincent's Inspire Therapy for Sleep Apnea
Talk to an Inspire-trained doctor or your sleep specialist. You may be a candidate for Inspire therapy, an implanted device that monitors your breathing and delivers mild stimulation to the specific airway muscles that keep your airway open while you sleep. Inspire therapy was FDA approved in 2014 and has been proven both safe and effective in multiple long-term studies.
Adults with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea may qualify for Inspire therapy, if you:
- Have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea
- Are unable to tolerate or benefit from CPAP
- Are not significantly overweight
- Are over the age of 22
Not being able to take a deep breath or feel rested can affect other aspects of your physical and emotional health. Our doctors take the time to answer your questions. We offer diagnostic testing and treatments close to home. Pulmonary tests,therapies and procedures that include, but are not limited to:
- Robotic interventional procedures
- Inspire device implantation
- Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
- Endobronchial ultrasound biopsy
- Oxygen therapy
- Pulmonary function testing
- Pulmonary hypertension management
- In lab sleep and CPAP therapy
- Home sleep testing
Pulmonary medicine and sleep medicine specialists
As your care team, we deliver a personalized, compassionate healthcare experience.