The use of thoracic ultrasound outside the radiology department and in everyday clinical practice is becoming increasingly common, having been incorporated into standards of care for many specialties. For the majority of practitioners, their experience of, and exposure to, thoracic ultrasound will be in its use as an adjunct to pleural and thoracic interventions, owing to the widely recognised benefits for patient safety and risk reduction. However, as clinicians become increasingly familiar with the capabilities of thoracic ultrasound, new directions for its use are being sought which might enhance practice and patient care. This article reviews the ways in which the advent of thoracic ultrasound is changing the approach to the investigation and treatment of respiratory disease from an interventional perspective. This will include the impact of thoracic ultrasound on areas including patient safety, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and outcome prediction; and will also consider potential future research and clinical directions.