Your respiratory system is a complex network of organs and tissue that help you breathe. It includes your lungs, airways, blood vessels, and the muscles that work together to circulate nutrient-rich oxygen throughout your body while removing carbon dioxide.
Pulmonologists are doctors who diagnose, treat, and help prevent problems affecting the respiratory system. When a pulmonary condition is chronic or incurable, pulmonology specialists can also help patients manage the problem.
When to See a Pulmonary Specialist
You’ll want the care and guidance of this type of specialist if you’ve been diagnosed with a pulmonary disorder or if you have chronic or severe respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, chest pain, and/or shortness of breath.
To accurately diagnose a pulmonary issue, an assortment of diagnostic testing methods with varying degrees of invasiveness may be necessary, such as:
- Pulmonary function testing – noninvasive breathing tests designed to measure the function of your lungs, such as spirometry and lung volume tests.
- Exercise testing – measures heart rate, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, and more during and after physical exertion. It is used to identify why you may be experiencing shortness of breath.
- Imaging tests, such as CT scans, fluoroscopy, or vascular ultrasound – can identify abnormalities that may be causing your respiratory symptoms.
- Fiber optic bronchoscopy – a flexible instrument is guided into your airway through your nose or mouth. It allows your doctor to visually assess the condition of your voice box, trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles. A biopsy can also be taken during this procedure.
- Thoracentesis with pleural biopsy – a needle biopsy that takes a small sample of fluid and tissue from around the lungs.
- Invasive hemodynamic monitoring – can accurately and reliably monitor a patient’s blood pressure and heart function while hospitalized in the ICU after a heart attack or similar problem. It measures your total blood flow per minute using a catheter threaded through an artery to the heart.
Conditions We Treat
Our pulmonology specialists can help patients who have respiratory problems, including:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Chronic respiratory failure
- Cystic fibrosis
- Interstitial lung disease
- Lung cancer
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Sleep apnea
Our specialists have expertise in treating a wide variety of pulmonary diseases, including those that are infectious, inflammatory, autoimmune, cancerous, drug-related, or occupational in nature.
Pulmonologists in Cullman, AL
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To find out more about our pulmonology services, call Cullman Primary Care Multi-Specialty Group in Cullman, Alabama, at (256) 736-2273 or request your appointment now.