Pulmonary physicians at UT Health Science Center at Tyler have more than 400 years of experience in treating lung diseases

Friday, August 29, 2008

For East Texas Healthcare, Tyler Morning Telegraph, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008

If they’re working properly, it’s easy to ignore your lungs.

They expand and contract as you breathe, in and then out, fueling your body with oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide, the waste product created by your body’s metabolism.

While you may take your lungs for granted, it’s hard not to be impressed by this largest organ in the body – the tiny air sacs in the lungs, the alveoli, take up as much space as a tennis court.

The lungs are the only organ exposed to the outside environment at least 14 or 16 times a minute – every time you breathe.

When disease or injury interferes with breathing, it can lead to serious illness and death.

Lung disease is the number three killer in the United States, responsible for one in six deaths, according to the American Lung Association.

More than 35 million Americans live with lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer.

If you have one of these conditions, you need the experienced pulmonary physicians at the only academic medical center in the Southwest that specializes in lung disease: The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.

Six of UTHSCT’s pulmonary physicians have spent more than 20 years treating people with lung disease.

And the 18 UTHSCT physicians who deal with lung disease have a total of more than 400 years of experience in pulmonary care.

They are specialists in adult and pediatric pulmonary diseases, allergies, asthma, and infectious lung diseases.

With doctors who have served pulmonary fellowships at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, the National Institutes of Health, and the Baylor College of Medicine, UT Health Science Center’s expertise in diagnosing and treating lung diseases is unmatched in this region.

Board-certified specialists in areas such as adult and pediatric pulmonology, interventional pulmonology, sleep medicine, radiology, and pulmonary pathology work together to ensure patients receive the best treatment possible.

One example of this extraordinary treatment is offered by Ted McLemore, MD, an internationally known expert in pulmonary medicine and director of interventional pulmonology at UTHSCT.

Dr. McLemore, who is board certified in pulmonary and internal medicine, was the first physician in Texas to use electromagnetically guided bronchoscopy.

This new technique allows small nodules on the edges of the lung to be biopsied without invasive surgery.

It offers promising treatment for this type of lung cancer in patients who are not good candidates for surgery, Dr. McLemore says. Through early detection of these cancers and new treatments, lives can be saved.

Patients come from all over the United States – and beyond its borders – to see UTHSCT physicians who offer personalized care and advanced treatment for asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, COPD, mycobacterium avian complex (MAC), pulmonary fibrosis, and lung cancer.

These physicians work with knowledgeable respiratory therapists, technicians, and other support staff with decades of experience in their fields.

And UTHSCT’s expertise in lung disease isn’t limited to treatment.

About 30 scientists conduct major research into the causes and treatment of lung scarring, the development of a more effective tuberculosis vaccine, the role of inflammation in lung disease, and new ways to treat lung cancer.

Grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have funded tens of millions of dollars worth of lung disease research at UTHSCT.

And organizations such as the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Chest Foundation, and the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute also have generously supported lung disease research at the Health Science Center.

For 60 years, generations of experienced and caring physicians at UTHSCT have been treating people with lung diseases.

Building on knowledge from its beginnings as a tuberculosis hospital in the late 1940s, UT Health Science Center at Tyler has grown to become the region’s premier medical center when it comes to lung disease treatment and research.

At UT Health Science Center at Tyler, treating lung diseases is not just our history, it’s our passion.

NOTICE: Protected health information is subject to electronic disclosure.