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Large Volume Pulmonary Lavage

Large volume pulmonary lavage is a procedure needed for patients having pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP). This disease — whether it's primary or acquired — causes the lungs to fill with lipoproteinaceous fluid that cannot be cleared. A large amount of fluid is needed to flush the lungs (lavage) and clear the secretions.

  • When PAP is severe enough, lung secretions increase and cannot be cleared.
  • Large volume pulmonary lavage is performed while the patient is intubated and sedated.
  • Several liters of saline solution are placed into the lungs through the breathing tube.
  • This fluid is then suctioned and removed, which washes the secretions away.
  • In order to deliver several liters of fluid into the lungs to wash the secretions, this procedure requires a breathing tube and general anesthesia.
  • Large volume pulmonary lavage is rare procedure. However, patients with severe PAP rapidly improve after this procedure is completed.

Appointments & Referrals

NOTE: All referred patients will still have the option of continuing treatment with their primary care physicians after the procedure.

Interventional Pulmonology Locations


La Jolla

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