Pulmonary Function Testing
Also known as PFT is done right in our office. It is a great way to check lung function and capacity. It helps us diagnose the different causes of shortness of breath or cough. Our PFT technician will coach you during the breathing test. You will get detailed instructions about the test at the time of scheduling. We will go over the test results with you in detail at the time of follow up visit.
Many patients with shortness of breath have underlying disease such as emphysema or COPD- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Other chronic lung or heart diseases can also cause blood oxygen level to be low. By doing a resting and walking measurement of your oxygen level, we find out if you need extra supplementation of oxygen or not. Exercise oximetry is also a good test to help figure out conditions that lead to lung fibrosis. Our technicians also do 6 minute walk distance test. This test is one of the more powerful predictors of prognosis in patients with lung and heart disease.
This procedure is the endoscopy of the lungs. After discussing the indication, risks, benefits, and alternatives to bronchoscopy, the procedure is scheduled in the operating room at Backus Hospital. You will get some blood tests and in many cases electrocardiogram ECG done before the procedure. It is a same day procedure and you will need a driver to bring you back home after the procedure. The procedure is done with sedation or anesthesia to minimize any discomfort. During bronchoscopy, we look at all the bronchial tubes and segments of the lungs. We can do washings, brushing to collect cells and sputum samples. We can insert thin forceps to take lung biopsies. Dr. Powell and Dr. Dahanayake also use endo-bronchial ultrasound EBUS with a special radial proble that helps us locate the tumor or nodule better. We offer bronchoscopy to help diagnose a variety of lung diseases such as pneumonias, unusual infections, sarcoidosis, lung cancer, and other conditions.
When a lung nodule or a mass is located in an area that is more peripheral, we offer a CAT scan guided needle biospy through the chest wall. This procedure is done by Dr. Steven Powell or one of the Interventional Radiologists in the CT scan department at the Backus Hospital. They use local anesthetic for your comfort. Results of the biopsy are generally available in a few days after the procedure after pathologists review it thoroughly.
We insert a chest tube to help re-expand a collapsed lung due to either trauma or spontaneous rupture of emphysema bleb. We also insert a chest tube to help drain out fluid collecting between the lungs and chest wall,. This is known as pleural effusion. There are many different causes of pleural effusion. Some common causes that we find are pleural effusions due to congestive heart failure or heart surgery, pneumonia, lung cancer, asbestos, among other.
When hospitalized patients are very sick they are admitted to the critical care unit, also known as CCU. It also goes by the name of ICU for Intensive Care Unit. Our group provides critical care consultations 24/7, 365 days at the Backus Hospital. We respond very promptly to such requests and we assist our trauma surgeons, our orthopedic surgeons, our oncologists, and our medical doctors when they need critical care help for their really sick patients. Many patients who need critical care also require organ support such as ventilator, CPAP, BiPAP, dialysis, fluid resuscitation, use of life saving medications, blood products, and invasive procedures. We work very closely with the whole team taking care of the CCU patients. One of our physicians, Dr. Setu Vora also serves as the Medical Director of Critical Care at the Backus Hospital. We keep the family updated of the patients status and the prognosis.
Sleep disorders are very common. Sleep apnea, insomnia, shift work related sleep disorder, excessive daytime sleepiness are just a few examples. More and more research shows that sleep is linked to general health. Patients who have poor sleep or sleep apnea have higher risk of heart diseases and strokes. Reduced sleep or sleep apnea is also linked to fatigue, accidents, insulin resistance, mood disorders, and attention deficit. We provide detailed and expert consultation for all sleep disorders. Dr. Olimpia Radu, Dr. Mari Adachi, and Dr. Setu Vora have additional training and expertize in sleep disorders and they are board-certified in Sleep Medicine.
Lung Cancer Screening
Scientists have found a 20 percent reduction in deaths from lung cancer among current or former heavy smokers who were screened with low-dose helical computed tomography (CT) versus those screened by chest X-ray. The National Lung Cancer Screening Trial involved 53,454 current and former heavy smokers ages 55 to 74. Participants were required to have a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years and were either current or former smokers without signs, symptoms, or history of lung cancer. Pack-years are calculated by multiplying the average number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years a person has smoked. Twenty five percent of CT scans were “abnormal” however, 96% of these abnormal CT scans were “false positive”- NOT cancer. There was a 7% reduction in death from any cause in the population that received the screening CT scan of the chest. As lung doctors, we are expert at helping you and other doctors understand what needs to be done next after an abnormal chest CT scan. Come talk to us or call us about the new lung cancer screening test.