At Ballad Health, we apply the most advanced and effective tests to see how well your lungs are working. The results will help your pulmonologist diagnose and treat you should you have any lung disorders.
Pulmonary Function Tests
These screenings or tests help evaluate and measure your lung function:
- Cardiopulmonary stress test: Measures cardiopulmonary activity and gas exchange while you walk/jog on a treadmill
- Bronchial challenge test: Helps diagnose asthma
- Arterial blood gasses: Measures oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in your blood
- Pulse oximetry: Measures oxygen saturation
- Metabolic test: Screens your blood to measure a variety of chemical levels
Pulmonary Diagnostic Procedures
These procedures help the pulmonologist perform biopsies and diagnose and treat lung diseases.
A bronchoscopy allows your doctor to look directly into the airways in your lungs.
During a bronchoscopy, the pulmonologist inserts a bronchoscope - a small, flexible tube with a light at the end - into the nose or mouth, down the throat and into the lung airways called “bronchi” or “bronchioles.” The light allows the doctor to see if there are blockages, bleeding, tumors, infected tissues or other problems. The doctor may also take pictures and tissue samples of the affected areas of the lung during the procedure.
During a bronchoscopy, you’ll be given medication to relax and as a result, you may become very sleepy. Afterward, you may be hoarse or have a sore throat.
Another type of bronchoscopy, called a rigid bronchoscopy, uses a larger bronchoscope and usually is performed when there is a blockage or bleeding. The larger scope allows the doctor to see more clearly and possibly remove a blockage. A rigid bronchoscopy is performed in a hospital and you will be given a general anesthesia so you can sleep throughout the procedure.
A bronchoscopy can be performed for various reasons, including:
- An abnormal chest X-ray or CT scan
- When a patient is coughing up blood
- To remove a stuck object or food
- To examine swollen airways
- To insert medicine into the lungs
- To place a stent to open a blocked airway
- To examine the cause of a cough that has lasted for a few weeks
A navigational bronchoscopy uses advanced imaging techniques with electromagnetic navigation to help doctors guide a lighted bronchoscope into tiny airways too small to access with a regular bronchoscope. This procedure allows doctors to find and biopsy lung tumors, place stents, suction fluid, and administer treatment in difficult-to-reach areas of the lung.
Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy (ENB)
This new technology allows the pulmonologist to access lesions deeper in the lungs than in traditional navigational bronchoscopies, and safely navigate, sample and prepare to treat them in one procedure without invasive surgery. The Veran SPiN Drive® technology is similar to a GPS system and guides the physician close to tumors to detect lung disease and lung cancer even before symptoms are evident, and uses special software and instruments that allow needle biopsies to be performed on nodules too deep to reach during traditional navigational bronchoscopy procedures.
The procedure is performed under anesthesia. A bronchoscope is inserted through the nose or throat. Software is used to create a 3D image of the airways from a CT scan and help the doctor navigate the airways. Patients usually go home 1 to 3 hours after the procedure and can return to work and normal activities within a day or two.
Indian Path Medical Center is the only hospital within a 200-mile radius equipped with the Veran SPiN Drive® technology.
ENB is often used on patients:
- With poor lung function
- Who have had lung cancer
- Who need to avoid higher-risk procedures
- Diagnosed with a spot deep in the lung
Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS)
During a bronchoscopy, the doctor may need to see more details of your lungs or the area between the lungs. An ultrasound probe is inserted into the tube used for the bronchoscopy and sound waves are sent through the tube into the airways. If necessary, the doctor can use a guided needle to extract tissue samples during the procedure. The endobronchial ultrasound is a less invasive than surgical procedures sometimes used for further diagnosis.
An EBUS can be performed to:
- Look for tumors or enlarged lymph nodes
- Diagnose tumors
- Detect infection