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Thoracic Surgery

Interstitial Lung Disease

Diagnosing interstitial lung disease

The dry cough and shortness of breath caused by interstitial lung disease can be anxiety-provoking and irritating. We understand your concern, which is why we have carefully designed the Interstitial Lung Disease Program at Tufts Medical Center. The doctors in this program work quickly to find the cause of your disease and determine the best treatment option for you.

Our program centers on safely taking a biopsy of the lung. This involves taking out a small part of the diseased area so that pathologists can better examine what is happening in your body.

Interstitial Lung Disease can be triggered by an infection, a medical condition, a pollutant or toxin in the environment. The more we know about your unique triggers and disease, the better we can treat it.

A team approach

Interstitial Lung Disease is a complex condition that requires treatment by several specialists. At Tufts Medical Center, these specialists, including surgeons, pulmonologists and anesthesiologists, work together to develop an individualized plan for your care.

Our team is led by Thoracic Surgery Chief Laurence H. Brinckerhoff, MD, and Pulmonologist Greg Schumaker, MD. Both are leaders in their field and assistant professors at Tufts University School of Medicine, one of the most prestigious medical schools in the U.S.

Using advanced surgical techniques

Your surgeon will perform a minimally invasive thoracoscopy procedure known as Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery to take a biopsy of the diseased portion of your lung. Because this cutting-edge approach is minimally invasive, your recovery time will be quicker compared to traditional surgery.

After the procedure, you can expect to spend two days in the hospital as we closely monitor your recovery. Once the biopsy is complete and the lung tissue has been evaluated, we will send a report to your physician who will talk with you about treatment options. This may include antibiotics, steroids or other medications to suppress the immune system.

Laurence H. Brinckerhoff, MD

Laurence H. Brinckerhoff, MD

Title(s): Surgeon; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, General Surgery, Thoracic Surgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5589
Fax #: 617-636-9095

Thoracic surgical oncology, minimally invasive surgery, clinical trials, tumor immunology

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Greg L. Schumaker, MD

Greg L. Schumaker, MD

Title(s): Medical Director, Lowell General Hospital ICU; Director, Rapid Response Team; Director, Clinical Resource Nurse Program; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Appt. Phone: 617-636-6377
Fax #: 617-636-1649

Pulmonary diseases, critical care medicine, sleep medicine

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The Interstitial Lung Disease Program at Tufts Medical Center is focused on performing biopsies using minimally invasive techniques that have faster recovery times. Using these approaches we are able to quickly find out more about a patient’s disease and help them on their road to recovery.

While your patient is in our care, we will keep you updated on any treatment plans or recommendations. We are always available to you to address concerns or answer questions.

To make an appointment, please call 617-636-5589.

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