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Pulmonary Function Testing
What is a pulmonary function test?
This test is useful in determining the presence of respiratory disease and in evaluating pre-operative risk, severity of respiratory impairment, and changes in existing respiratory disease.
What are the different types of pulmonary function testing?
- Spirometry: to evaluate functional lung capacity in comparison to what is expected of someone your age, height and sex.
- Lung Volume Measurement: to determine your total lung size, which helps distinguish between lung disease types.
- Diffusion Study: to evaluate the lungs' ability to move oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from your blood.
- Methacholine Challenge: to aid in the diagnosis of reactive airway disease.
What can I expect before the test?
- You may eat your regular food before the test.
- You will be asked to abstain from smoking for 6-8 hours before the test.
- You may be asked to not use your inhaler for four hours before the test. Your doctor will make the determination.
What can I expect during the test?
You will be asked to come to the Heart and Lung Center at Portsmouth Regional Hospital
You will be asked to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time in order to register.
A qualified technologist will perform the test.
The technologist will ask you for your medical history.
Please bring a complete list of your medications with you for the exam.
The technologist will explain the procedure to you. Depending on which of the tests your physician has ordered, there may be one or more procedures.
The technologist will ask you to breathe in a machine very rapidly and fully.
You may or may not be asked to use a nebulized medication (Albuterol).
How long will the test take?
Depending on which of the test/s your doctor has ordered, the test will take between 30 and 90 minutes.
What can I expect after the test?
You may return to your normal activities without any restriction.
The results will be forwarded to your physician who will discuss the results with you at a later date.