Interventional Pulmonologist, Intensivist

Director, Interventional Pulmonology; Co-Director, Complex Airway Program

Conditions Treated:

Pictured: Mohit Chawla

About Me

Interventional pulmonology is a relatively new and rapidly growing field. As one of a few fully trained interventional pulmonologists in the world, I feel fortunate to have been part of the development of this field and have published articles on techniques never before performed. I am board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, and critical care medicine.

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We at Memorial Sloan Kettering are leaders in developing minimally invasive techniques for common problems. I perform various procedures in the airway and in the pleural space (the space surrounding the lungs in the rib cage). I have taught these procedures in workshops at international and regional meetings. My colleagues and I are working closely with the medical industry to develop and improve medical technologies in this field.

One minimally invasive technique that we frequently use is bronchoscopy, which allows us to visualize the inside of the airways using a camera and access most regions of the lung, without any surgical incisions. I perform both flexible and rigid bronchoscopy to ensure adequate care of the disease process. I specialize in endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy (superDimension), laser bronchoscopy, autofluorescence bronchoscopy, narrow-band imaging, airway stenting, and whole-lung lavage for pulmonary alveolar proteinosis.

I also treat benign and cancerous diseases of the airway, including malignant airway obstruction; tracheal tumors; tracheal stenosis and bronchostenosis (narrowing of the windpipe); and tracheobronchomalacia (excessive collapse of the windpipe with breathing or coughing). Complications of lung surgery, such as surgical stump breakdown or bronchopleural fistula, can be managed via bronchoscopy.

Our interventional pulmonology team, in conjunction with thoracic surgery, heads the Center’s complex airways program. Working together, we treat diseases with bronchoscopy, laser, stenting, or with highly specialized surgical techniques such as tracheal resection and reconstruction, or tracheobronchoplasty. These surgical procedures are performed at only a few highly specialized centers in the world.

Lung volume reduction surgery is proven to help patients with certain types of emphysema. Currently under international study are techniques to achieve the same results using bronchoscopy instead of lung surgery. We hope to include this modality in the near future for our patients with emphysema to provide improved quality of life and the ability to tolerate lung cancer surgeries when patients have limited lung function.

Pleural space diseases are a common problem when cancer has spread to the chest. I specialize in simple and complex diseases of the pleural space. I perform thoracentesis (drainage of fluid surrounding the lung) using ultrasound; place indwelling pleural catheters (PleurX; which allows the patient to go home and manage fluid drainage); chest tubes with pleurodesis (sealing of the pleural space to prevent further fluid accumulation); and medical thoracoscopy (a procedure which allows us to look in the pleural space to drain fluid and remove scar tissue).

  • Clinical Expertise: Diagnostic Bronchoscopy (Flexible and Rigid): Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS), TBNA and radial probe; Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy (superDimension); Autofluorescence Bronchoscopy (AF); Narrow Band Imaging (NBI); Transbronchial Needle Aspiration (TBNA); Transbronchial Biopsy. Therapeutic Bronchoscopy (Flexible and Rigid): Airway Stents -- Self-Expanding Metallic, Silicon and Hybrid, Placement and Removal; Balloon and Mechanical Airway Dilatation; Laser Bronchoscopy, Nd:YAG and KTP; Electrocautery; Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC); Cryotherapy; Endobronchial Brachytherapy; Photodynamic Therapy; Endoscopic Abscess Drainage; Fibrin Glue Closure; Foreign Body Removal; Whole Lung Lavage. Pleural Diseases: Thoracic Ultrasound; Thoracentesis; Thoracostomy (Chest Tubes) and Pleurodesis; Indwelling Pleural Catheters (PleurX); Medical Thoracoscopy.
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, New York Medical College
  • Residencies: Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center
  • Fellowships: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Henry Ford Hospital
  • Board Certifications: Internal Medicine; Pulmonary Disease; Critical Care Medicine

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Thirumala R, Rappo U, Babady NE, Kamboj M, Chawla M. Capnocytophaga Lung Abscess in a Patient with metastatic Neuroendocrine Tumor. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 212 Jan; 50(1): 204-7.

Coba V, Whitmill M, Killu K, Mataria H, Chawla M, Simoff M. Recurrent Chyle Aspiration Secondary to a Bronchopleural Fistula communicating with a Chylothorax. ICU Director 2011; 2(6): 218-221.

Chawla M. Interventional Pulmonology: Advanced Bronchoscopy in the Critically Ill. Chest Physician 2011 April; 6(4): 10-11.

Chawla M,  Stone C,  Simoff MJ,  Lobular capillary Hemangioma of the Trachea: The Second Case. Journal of Bronchology & Interventiona.l Pulmonology 2010; 17*3(: 238-240.

Chawla M, Getzen T, Simoff MJ. Medical Pneumonectomy: Interventional Bronchoscopic and Endovascular Management of Massive Hemoptysis due to Pulmonary Artery Pseudoaneurysm, a consequence of Endobronchial Brachytherapy. Chest 2009; 135: 1355-1358.

Diaz J, Chawla M, Simoff M. Endobronchial Ultrasound-guided Transbronchial Needle Aspiration in the Diagnosis of Metastatic Thyroid Cancer. Journal of Bronchology & Interventional Pulmonology. 2009 Jan; 16(1): 70-1.

Chawla M, Boroumand N, Alexandrou C, Stover D. Chest Imaging and Pathology for Clinicians: Dyspnea on Exertion and Ground-Glass Infiltrates in an Ex-Smoker. Chest. 2008.

Stier CT, Koenig S, Lee D, Chawla M, Frishman W. Aldosterone and Aldosterone Antagonism in Cardiovascular Disease: Focus on Eplerenone (Inspra). Heart Disease. 2003 Mar-Apr; 5(2):102-18.

Huang D, Chawla M. Implementing Thermoluminescence Dosimetry to Optimize Radiation Therapy for Cancer Patients. BASE – A Journal of Science and Technology. 1992 Dec.

Clinical Trials

As home to one of the world’s top cancer research centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time. Currently, clinical trials focused on the conditions I treat are enrolling new patients. If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, click to learn about the trial’s purpose, eligibility criteria, and how to get more information.

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Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicaid and New York State Medicare also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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