Pulmonary function tests are a group of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they move gases such as oxygen from the atmosphere into the body's circulation.
Spirometry is a common office test used to assess how well your lungs work by measuring how much air you inhale, how much you exhale and how quickly you exhale. We use spirometry to diagnose asthma, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and other conditions that cause breathing problems. Spirometry may also be used periodically to check whether a treatment for a chronic lung condition is helping you breathe better.
Bronchoscopy is a medical procedure that allows your pulmonary doctor to look at your airway using a thin viewing instrument known as a bronchoscope. During bronchoscopy, your pulmonary specialist can examine your throat, larynx, trachea and lower airways for any abnormalities, including foreign bodies, bleeding, tumors or inflammation. During some procedures, we may take specimens from inside the lungs for examination in a laboratory. There are two types of bronchoscopy procedures: flexible bronchoscopy and rigid bronchoscopy.
Bronchoscopy through either method can be used to view abnormalities of the airway, obtain tissue samples of the lung to be examined in a laboratory or evaluate a patient with symptoms such as chronic cough, coughing up of blood, abnormal chest X-rays and lung infections.
Right Heart Catheterization (RHC)
RHC is the most accurate way to measure the blood pressure in your heart and the arteries of your lungs. The results of this test, and possibly other tests, let our doctors know if you have pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and help them decide on the best treatment for you. During RHC, your doctor will measure the pressure inside the pulmonary arteries and chambers of your heart, how much oxygen is in your blood and the amount of blood your heart is able to pump each minute. This procedure is done in the hospital.
Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a newer technique combining ultrasound and bronchoscopy to visualize airway walls and nearby structures. This is a relatively new procedure used to diagnose lung cancer, lung infections and diseases that enlarge lymph nodes in the chest. We have incorporated EBUS into PMG's arsenal because of its high diagnostic informative value and low risk to patients. In some cases, endobronchial ultrasound can replace more invasive methods for staging lung cancer, lung nodules and lesions.
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. This commonly used cardiac disease screening test allows your doctor to see how your heart is beating and pumping blood. Your doctor can use the images from an echocardiogram to identify various abnormalities in the heart muscle and valves (valvular heart disease), including congenital heart disease and cardiomyopathy. Your doctor may suggest echocardiograms if he or she suspects problems with the valves or chambers of your heart or your heart's ability to pump. No special preparations are necessary for an echocardiogram test.
Learn more about pulmonary/breathing disorders and treatments at Paloma Medical Group. Call 949-443-4303 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form. Our pulmonology patients come to us from Irvine, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente and close-by cities in South County, CA.