Pulmonary medicine is the subspecialty of internal medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and management of disorders of the respiratory system, including the lungs, upper airways, thoracic cavity, and chest wall.
Although most common respiratory problems can be treated by general internists and other specialty physicians, internists practicing pulmonary medicine (often referred to as “pulmonologists”) are frequently called upon to help diagnose unknown disorders and assist in managing difficult, unusual, or complicated diseases of the respiratory system.
Pulmonologists have expertise in structural, inflammatory, infectious, and neoplastic disorders of the lung parenchyma, pleura and airways, pulmonary vascular disease and its effect on the cardiovascular system, and detection and prevention of occupational and environmental causes of lung disease.
Diseases commonly evaluated and treated by pulmonologists include asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), emphysema, lung cancer, interstitial and occupational lung diseases, complex lung and pleural infections including tuberculosis, pulmonary hypertension, and cystic fibrosis.
Some pulmonologists focus on sleep-disordered breathing (such as sleep apnea) and may provide diagnostic and therapeutic services in sleep laboratories.
When you’re experiencing lung or respiratory issues, the key to effective treatment and the best possible outcome starts with the right diagnosis. Mercy Health offers a full range of assessment and treatment programs led by an experienced team of doctors, registered nurses, exercise specialists, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, social workers, spiritual professionals and dietitians. We work together to help you achieve the best results possible.
Pulmonology Services We OfferIf your doctor thinks you might have a lung or respiratory issue, he or she may order tests or suggest services or treatment programs to learn more about what’s going on. The kind of test you have depends on what symptoms or problems you’re having. They can include:
- bronchoscopy (shows the inside of your lungs)
- ultrasound bronchoscopy with biopsy of abnormal lymph nodes in the lung
- navigational bronchoscopy, a special procedure to take biopsies in hard-to-reach areas of the lung
- pulmonary function tests
- lung cancer screenings
- smoking cessation classes
Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD)
Interstitial lung diseases, including sarcoidosis
Lung infections, like bronchitis and pneumonia
Occupational lung diseases, such as pneumoconiosis and asbestosis
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