- Specialist consultation: What to bring to your appointment
- Pulmonary Function Testing Instructions
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Specialist consultation: What to bring to your appointment
Your appointment with the Pulmonologist will last approximately 1-1.5 hours. During this time, you will undergo Pulmonary Function Testing, which provides valuable information to the doctor regarding how well your lungs work.
Please bring to your appointment the following:
- A list of all your current medications.
- Your inhaler medications.
- Any medical information, reports, doctors’ letters in your possession.
- A list of questions you want to ask the doctor.
- Reason for referral as indicated on the attached requisition.
Pulmonary Function Testing Instructions
Your doctor has requested that you have a breathing test. You should expect the testing to take up to 40 minutes.
Some medications will interfere with the testing and if possible should be stopped before coming in for your test. You can continue with your medications if you do not think you can go without them. Inform the technician that you have taken your medications before starting your test.
If possible, do not take:
- Any fast acting bronchodilators for at least 6 hours prior to the start of your test (e.g. Ventolin, Bricanyl, Atrovent, Berotec, Airomir)
- Any long-acting bronchodilators for at least 18 hours prior to the start of your test. (e.g. Serevent, Oxeze, Foradil, Advair or Symbicort.)
- Spiriva (Tiotropium) is also a long-acting bronchodilator but should be withheld for 24 hours.
You can continue to take:
- Steroid containing medications such as:
- e.g. Beclovent, Qvar, Vanceril, Bronalide, Pulmicort, Prednisone, Flovent
- (Advair and Symbicort have steroids, but because they also have long-acting bronchodilators, if possible, they should not be taken 18 hours prior to testing).
After the test, you may restart all your medications in the usual manner.
Bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to examine inside your airways for any abnormalities such as foreign bodies, bleeding, tumor, infection, or inflammation. The procedure is performed with a bronchoscope, a flexible thin tube that can pass into the airways and transmit images back to the doctor. Various types of biopsies can be obtained with the bronchoscope. The procedure can be performed easily and safely under local sedation.
- Complications from fiberoptic bronchoscopy are uncommon and may include coughing, and fever. These are generally self-limiting. If lung biopsy is performed, bleeding may occur. Also, biopsy may cause collapse of the lung, also called pneumothorax. Pneumothorax occurs in less than 10% of cases requiring lung biopsy.
- Please take your medications as usual. Your doctor will let you know which medications may need to be stopped for the bronchoscopy.
- Please fast for at least 6 hours before the procedure.
- One hour prior to the bronchoscopy, you will receive an IV so that medications can be given during the procedure. In addition, nebulized Ventolin with a freezing agent called Lidocaine will be administered to numb your throat and airways.
During the Procedure
- Sedation will be provided before the bronchoscopy to relax you. Common drugs used include Midazolam (Versed), and Fentanyl. More Lidocaine will be sprayed in your throat and airways to reduce coughing.
- You will be monitored during the procedure with periodic blood pressure checks, continuous ECG monitoring of your heart and oxygen measurement
- The doctor can insert the bronchoscope through either your nose or mouth. You can be either sitting or lying down.
After the Procedure
- Most adults tolerate bronchoscopy well, but you will remain for a brief period of observation. Nurses will watch you closely for 1-4 hours following the procedure, until the effects of sedative drugs wear off.
- You will not be able to eat food for 4 hours as the freezing that you were given temporarily inhibits your gag reflex.
- If you have had a biopsy, the doctor will take a chest x-ray to make sure lung collapse or pneumothorax has not occurred.
- Because the effect of the sedative medications may linger, you should not drive home. Any activity that requires full concentration should not be performed until the day after.