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826 Results for Pulmonary Disease near Ashburn, VA 20147

Pulmonology Frequently Asked Questions

What is a pulmonologist?

A pulmonologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders and conditions of the respiratory system, including:

  • autoimmune disorders
  • cancer treatment
  • infectious diseases
  • inflammation
  • structural problems

Though the lungs usually come to mind first when talking about pulmonology, the respiratory system is made of several parts, including:

  • bronchial tubes
  • diaphragm
  • lungs
  • mouth and nose
  • sinuses
  • throat (pharynx)
  • voicebox (larynx)
  • windpipe (trachea)

What conditions do pulmonologists treat?

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Pulmonologists treat several kinds of respiratory conditions, including:

What procedures do pulmonologists perform?

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Pulmonologists perform several tests, including imaging tests used to diagnose and understand the respiratory issues you are experiencing. These tests include:

  • blood tests: tests used to check your blood’s oxygen levels
  • bronchoscopy: a device that looks inside your lungs and airways
  • chest ultrasound: imaging that examines the organs and structures in your chest
  • CT scans: diagnostic images of your lungs and respiratory system
  • spirometry: a test that measures how well your lungs work

In addition to testing and imaging, a pulmonologist performs several procedures that can help improve the function of your lungs. Some common procedures include:

  • airway ablation: a procedure that opens blocked air passages
  • biopses: the collection of a tissue sample for disease screening
  • pulmonary hygiene: a procedure that clears fluid and mucus buildup from your lungs

When should I go to a pulmonologist?

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For many minor concerns or symptoms of the respiratory system, you’ll receive care from your primary care physician (PCP). Your PCP will usually refer you to a pulmonologist if you’re experiencing the following:

  • a cough that regularly produces blood or mucus
  • a persistent or worsening cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • unexplained weight loss

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, a pulmonologist may refer you to a pulmonary surgeon who specializes in treating your condition.

What can I expect during my first pulmonologist appointment?

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A typical first visit to a pulmonologist begins with a physical exam. Your doctor will likely ask questions about your medical history, condition, and any symptoms you’re experiencing.

Depending on your symptoms, your pulmonologist may recommend blood work, imaging, or other diagnostic tests. You can also expect them to discuss your treatment plan, including some procedures and their associated benefits or risks.

What questions should I ask my pulmonologist?

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It’s important to feel prepared when you go to your pulmonologist appointment. To help you get started, we’ve created a list of good questions for you to ask during your appointment:

  • Are there any tests you recommend?
  • What’s my diagnosis?
  • What’s causing my symptoms or making them worse?
  • How often should I be screened for my condition?
  • Are there any medications that can help manage my condition?
  • What are the next steps in my treatment?
  • Should I limit my physical activities?

In addition to asking questions, there are several things you can do to get the most out of your pulmonologist appointment:

  • Bring a detailed account of your recent medical history, including the medications you take.
  • Write down your symptoms, when they started, and how they’ve progressed.
  • Track activities that make your symptoms better or worse.
  • Ask a friend or family member to accompany you to your appointment.