Monaca Pulmonary Function Testing

Pulmonary function tests are noninvasive diagnostic tests given to assess lung function. Dr. Benjamin Laracuente and the staff at Tristate Pulmonary provide pulmonary function testing at our Monaca office.

These tests assess how well air is moved into and out of your lungs, and if sufficient oxygen from this air is moved through your circulatory system. Dr. Laracuente uses this assessment of lung volume, capacity, flow, and gas exchange to rule out or diagnose certain lung ailments.

What Can Be Diagnosed Through a Pulmonary Function Test?

If you frequently have difficulty breathing, pulmonary function testing may be ordered to test for allergies, asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema. Pulmonary function testing may also be requested to assess whether or not exposure to hazardous materials, such as asbestos fibers, has resulted in lung damage.

Pulmonary function tests are also commonly requested for patients scheduled for invasive surgery (especially those with known heart or lung ailments), patients recovering from a respiratory infection or a recent surgical procedure, and patients that have recently experienced chest trauma or fractured ribs. Tests may also be requested to determine if medications or a treatment regimen for an already diagnosed chronic lung condition are effective.

Testing helps determine the presence of an obstructive condition where air flowing out of the lungs is met with resistance – decreasing airflow, or a restrictive condition where chest muscles cannot adequately expand – disrupting airflow.

After analysis, Dr. Laracuente determines a course of treatment based on the presence, location, cause, and characteristics of your breathing problem.

How is a Pulmonary Function Test Performed?

Patients that visit us for pulmonary function testing in Monaca will typically be tested with a spirometer – an instrument connected to a mouthpiece that measures the amount and rate of air breathed in and out over a period of time. You may either be asked to breathe normally or coached to forcefully inhale and exhale following a deep breath. Your nose is typically clipped shut during a spirometry test.

How to Prepare for a Pulmonary Function Test

If you’re scheduled for a pulmonary function test at our Monaca office, please avoid eating a heavy meal prior to your appointment and refrain from smoking prior to testing. Specific instructions will be given to patients currently using bronchodilators or inhaler medications, so please advise us ahead of time if you use such medications.

What if My Pulmonary Function Test Is Abnormal?

Normal values are based on patient age, height/weight, ethnicity, and sex. Values are expressed as a percentage. Anything less than 80% of the predicted value of the patient – based on the aforementioned factors – is generally considered abnormal and an indicator of some form of chest or lung disease.

Dr. Laracuente will work with you to determine what medications may alleviate your symptoms or potentially reverse your condition. Frequent follow-up pulmonary evaluations or testing at our Monaca office may be necessary.

Additional Resources and Testing Include:

  • Cardiopulmonary stress testing
  • Ultrasound bronchoscopy
  • Electromagnetic guided bronchoscopy
  • Pulmonary valve placement for pulmonary air leak cases
  • Bronchial thermoplasty for asthma

Pulmonary Function Testing Overview at WebMD

Cleveland Clinic Pulmonary Function Testing Review