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Interventional Pulmonology

Contact Information

To consult an Interventional Pulmonology specialist, or arrange a referral, call (804) 828-6396 or e-mail ray.shepherd@vcuhealth.org.

For outpatient referrals, please specify the referral as an “Interventional Pulmonology” patient. These patients will be seen within one week or sooner if necessary.

For inpatient transfers please call VCU Medical Center's Patient Transfer Center at (804) 828-2638 or call the main operator at (804) 828-0951 and ask for the pulmonologist on call.

Interventional Pulmonology

Interventional PulmonologyVCU Medical Center is home to the state’s largest and most comprehensive interventional pulmonology (IP) subspecialty service. The physicians who lead the center are among a very small group in Virginia who are board certified in Interventional Pulmonology, and together with an outstanding staff and consulting physicians, provide the highest quality of care one can expect in the region.

This growing service uses advanced endoscopic techniques of both the airway and the pleural space for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Our experienced team, led by Wes Shepherd, M.D., works in close cooperation with other specialists at VCU Medical Center, to assure treatments are coordinated and communication with patients and referring physicians is clear.

  • The broadest array of diagnostic and therapeutic options in one setting
  • One of the highest procedure volumes of programs in the U.S.
  • One of only a few programs in the U.S. with three fellowship trained interventional pulmonologists
  • Uniquely tailored care plans for each patient
  • Easily arranged outpatient referrals, inpatient admissions and transfers
  • New patients seen within one week
  • Research protocols for patients to consider
  • Experienced physicians:
    • R. Wes Shepherd, M.D.: Virginia's first fellowship trained Interventional Pulmonologist 
    • Samira Shojaee, M.D.: Fellowship trained Interventional Pulmonologist
    • Peter Lee, M.D.:  Fellowship trained Interventional Pulmonologist
    • Tammy Foster, BSN, RN: Interventional Pulmonary Coordinator

Areas of Focus:


Therapeutic Bronchoscopy:

  • Airway stenting (metallic, silicone, hybrid)
  • Balloon bronchoplasty
  • Brachytherapy
  • Cryotherapy (probe and spray cryo)
  • Electrocautery and argon plasma coagulation
  • Microdebrider
  • Montgomery T-tube placement
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Rigid bronchoscopy
  • YAP laser
  • Stent removal
  • Foreign body removal
  • Broncho-pleural fistula treatment
  • Bronchial thermoplasty

Advanced Diagnostic Bronchoscopy:

  • Endobronchial ultrasound
  • Peripheral radial endobronchial ultrasound
  • Electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy

Pleural Procedures:

  • Pleuroscopy or medical thoracoscopy
  • PleurX® catheters
  • Chest Tubes
  • Thoracentesis

Other Procedures:

  • Whole lung lavage
  • Percutaneous dilational tracheostomy
  • Transtracheal oxygen catheters
  • Fiducial marker placement into lung tumor for radiation therapy

Future of Interventional Pulmonology and Research:

Numerous technologies are under investigations that hold promise of patient benefit.

Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction may improve symptoms of emphysema through a less invasive approach than surgical lung volume reduction. Currently, we are a study site for the Spiration Valve lung volume reduction system for patients with COPD and emphysema

VCU Medical Center’s interventional pulmonology program is uniquely positioned to offer an experienced airway team to implement these new therapies as they emerge.

Comprehensive Care

Individuals with interventional pulmonology issues require accurate diagnosis and tailored treatments. These patients are usually best cared for in experienced centers where all existing medical airway tools are available.

VCU Medical Center offers the most comprehensive services and technologies in interventional pulmonology in Virginia. The IP program offers the widest range of options to treat benign and malignant lesions located in the tracheobronchial tree.

Due to the complex nature of their disease patients referred to the IP program are often managed in a multidisciplinary fashion, featuring collaboration with thoracic surgery, ENT and thoracic radiology.

For physicians and health care providers, a system is in place to make consults, referrals and transfers easy to accomplish, with new patients seen within a week of referral. Physicians should also feel confident when they use VCU Medical Center that they are linking their patients with the best trained caregivers in interventional pulmonology.

Dedicated Interventional Pulmonary (1 year) Fellowship

  • One of only a limited number of dedicated Interventional Pulmonology Fellowship programs in the country.
  • One of the highest volume of IP procedures.
  • This year of training allows our graduates to enter the field prepared to manage a full spectrum of diseases and their associated interventional pulmonary procedures.
  • Our graduates are qualified to start or join an Interventional Pulmonology Program.
  • Graduates are experienced in the diverse array of procedures listed above

For more information on the Interventional Pulmonology Fellowship, contact Fellowship Director Samira Shojaee, M.D. at samira.shojaee@vcuhealth.org