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Pulmonary

Pulmonology is a medical subspecialty of internal medicine pertaining to diseases or conditions of the lungs and respiratory tract. Common pulmonary diagnoses include:

  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis
  • COPD
  • Dyspnea
  • Emphysema
  • Lung Mass
  • Lung Nodule
  • Nasal Polyp
  • Pleural Effusion
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Restrictive Lung Disease

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    Procedures

    Chest X-Ray
    A chest x-ray is a procedure that can be done in our office during your appointment.  Usually, two x-rays are taken at a time which include (1) posterior-anterior view: the x-rays passing through the chest from the back and (2) lateral view: the x-rays pass through the chest from one side to the other.  When the x-rays are taken you are asked to hold you breath so your lungs are expanded and the best view of your lungs can be taken. If you are pregnant we ask that you let us know since x-rays are not recommended for the first 6 months of a pregnancy.  A chest x-ray may be done to help the physician further diagnose or treat such symptoms as:

    • Persistent coughing (including coughing up mucus or blood)
    • Increased shortness of breath
    • Chest pain
    • Chest injury

     

    CAT Scans
    A chest CT, sometimes called a CAT scan, can be used for a variety of reasons.  It is a noninvasive test that takes multiple pictures of the inside of the body.  These pictures assist physicians to diagnose and treat different medical conditions for patients.  These images can help detect diseases such as lung cancer, pulmonary embolisms, pneumonia, tuberculosis, emphysema and interstitial lung disease.  Usually if a patient is to receive a CT for the first time, it will be done with contrast, which is a dye inserted into an IV. Blood work will need to be done prior to the CT to check BUN, urea, nitrogen and creatinine.  Some other uses for a CT are:

    • to more extensively examine abnormalities on chest xrays done in the office
    • to detect and monitor the growth/recession of a tumor and plan radiation therapy
    • to help detect causes of clinical signs and symptoms for diseases such as shortness of breath, chest pain and coughing.


    PET Scans
    Positron emission tomography (PET)  scans may be done for a number of reasons to pinpoint and assist in making treatment options for various cancer diagnosis.  Some of the those reasons are as follow:

    • to detect and intervene by revealing metabolic changes in the body prior to changes in structure that normally would not show up on conventional medical imaging studies (i.e. MRI, CT, or x-ray)
    • to determine the extent of disease and assist in the choice of appropriate therapy.
    • to assess tumor level of activity for follow-up after treatment
    • to determine if further diagnostic procedures are necesssary (i.e. biopsies)
    • to distinguish between living and dead tissue or between benign and malignant disorders by detecting abnormalities in the cellular and molecular level

     

    Pulmonary Function Test (PFT)
    A PFT is a diagnostic test that helps a physician determine the function of your lungs and airways.  These tests may be done every 6 months or more often, depending on the initial disgnosis.  The test produces a series of numbers that compare the patient’s lung function with a predicted value based on age, height and sex.  By following these tests, a pyhysician can intervene early when lung function is failing.  These tests are beneficial to:

    • distinguish cause of dyspnea
    • determine risk of surgery
    • detect pulmonary diseases early on
    • measure effect of therapy used on patient


    Bronchoscopy
    A Bronchoscopy is normally used for diagnostic purposes and involves an endoscope inspecting the airways of the lungs.  There are several procedures that may be done while a physician is doing a bronchoscopy such as: bronchoalveolar lavage, transbronchial biopsy, and transbronchial needle aspiration.  The physician will take a sample from each of these tests to see if any bacteria or fungus grows to help determine treatment.  Some of the most common reasons for having a bronchoscopy are:

    • checking for foreign object (i.e. mass, tumor, gum, nut) that may be causing frequent coughing
    • identify the site or cause of bleeding from trauma or other pulmonary diseases
    • evaluate and help treat pneumonia