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Pulmonology


 

Pulmonology is the medical specialty that manages diseases and conditions involving lungs and breathing. On average, you take 15 to 20 breaths a minute, over 20,000 breaths a day. With every breath, oxygen flows into the lungs and through the bloodstream to oxygenate every cell in your body. Any disease that affects your lungs disrupts this process. Denali Healthcare Specialists provides testing, treatment, and ongoing management for pulmonary diseases and disorders at their Anchorage, Alaska office. Call today to request an appointment.

 

What conditions do pulmonary specialists treat?

The pulmonary experts at Denali Healthcare Specialists treat a wide range of health conditions that affect lungs and breathing.

Common conditions include:

  • Chronic cough
  • Asthma and allergies
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Emphysema and pulmonary hypertension
  • Pneumonia and bronchitis
  • Bronchiolitis and bronchiectasis
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lung abscesses and pulmonary nodules
  • Lung cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Sarcoidosis, asbestosis, and occupational lung disease
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pulmonary embolism

If you have one of these conditions or you’re experiencing symptoms related to your lungs or breathing, call Denali Healthcare Specialists for an evaluation and treatment plan.


What types of diagnostic tests are generally performed to evaluate lung health?

Denali Healthcare Specialists offers a number of tests to assess lung health and function.

Pulmonary tests include:

  • Complete pulmonary function tests
  • Pre- and post-bronchodilator spirometry
  • Spirometry without bronchodilator
  • Diffusion capacity test
  • Lung volumes
  • Methacholine challenge test
  • Six-minute walk study

Your pulmonary specialist will go over what you can expect before testing starts.

What are pulmonary function tests?

Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are a group of noninvasive tests that assess how well your lungs work, or how well you’re able to breathe and how effectively oxygen flows to the rest of your body.

PFTs measure:

  • Lung volume
  • Capacity
  • Rates of flow
  • Gas exchange

PFTs include spirometry, plethysmography, and diffusion capacity tests.

Spirometry

Spirometry measures the amount of air you breathe in and out. During this test, you breathe into a mouthpiece that’s connected to a spirometer, breathing in and out as deeply as possible for several seconds. The spirometer records the amount and rate of air that you breathe in and out over a set period of time. You may also be asked to inhale medication before breathing into the spirometer to see how it changes your test results.

Plethysmography

Plethysmography measures the volume of gas in your lungs, also known as lung volume. During the test, you sit or stand in an air-tight container that looks like a telephone booth, and you breathe in and out of a mouthpiece. Lung volume is measured based on the changes in pressure inside the box.

Diffusion capacity test

The diffusion capacity test evaluates how well the small air sacs inside your lungs, called alveoli, are working. During this test, you breathe in a harmless gas, called a tracer gas, for a short period of time, usually one breath. Then, the concentration of gas in the air you breathe out is measured. The difference in the amount of gas inhaled and exhaled measures how well your lungs move oxygen from the air to your bloodstream.

For expert pulmonary care, call Denali Healthcare Specialists to request an appointment.

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