Whole Lung Lavage

Procedure

Whole Lung Lavage

Whole Lung Lavage (WLL) is a specialized procedure for treating a lung condition known as Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis. In this condition, sand-like (proteinaceous) material builds up in the alveoli (air-sacs) of the lungs, resulting in difficulty breathing. Whole lung lavage aims to clear this material to restore optimal breathing.

How is Whole Lung Lavage carried out?

WLL is carried out in the operating theatre. The patient is placed under general anesthesia. The specialist then inserts a tube into the airway to deliver salt solution (saline) to ‘wash’ the lungs. With a combination of chest physiotherapy and suction, the solution is extracted back to remove the proteinaceous material from the lungs. Throughout the procedure, the patient is monitored very closely by a multidisciplinary medical team.

What Happens after the Whole Lung Lavage?

The patient will be monitored in hospital for a few days after the procedure. This procedure may need to be repeated to ensure as much of the proteinaceous material are removed from the lung as possible.

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The Respiratory Practice

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