Bronchiectasis is a chronic respiratory condition caused by inflammation or infection in which the walls of the bronchi (airways) thicken, making it hard to clear mucus. Symptoms include tiredness, excessive secretions, recurrent cough and shortness of breath. People with bronchiectasis often experience flare-ups or exacerbations of the disease. Bronchiectasis can lead to serious health problems, such as respiratory failure.
Bronchiectasis is divided into two categories: cystic fibrosis (CF) -bronchiectasis (also known as congenital bronchiectasis) and non-CF bronchiectasis or acquired bronchiectasis. Roughly 50 percent of non-CF cases have no identifiable cause, which presents a challenge to both diagnose and treat. Patients with lung infections such as tuberculosis and pneumonia are particularly susceptible to bronchiectasis.
Board-certified pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Lung Center provide specialized medical and surgical diagnostic services and treatment for bronchiectasis. They collaborate with a multidisciplinary team that crosses many specialties: infectious disease, allergy and immunology, genetics, otolaryngology and respiratory therapy. The team also works closely with specialists from the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program, a joint program of the BWH Lung Center and Boston Children’s Hospital. Our concentrated goal is to preserve lung function and alleviate symptoms by treating underlying conditions, decreasing mucus and preventing complications.
The Lung Center is located at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) at the 15 Francis Street entrance. Thoracic surgery, pulmonary and critical care medicine and thoracic imaging are adjacent to one another, making accessibility and appointment scheduling seamless.