One of the tests our internist, Dr. John Abroon, may perform to make sure your lungs are working properly is a pulmonary function test or PFT, to evaluate the functional state of your lungs. We accomplish this with the help of a test called spirometry that measures your breath. Spirometry measurements can help Dr. Abroon to assess how much air is moving in and out of your lungs as well as the speed at which it is moving. We also look to see the compliance of the chest wall as you breathe and the diffusion characteristics of your lung membrane, the rate of exchange of gases in the lung and the diffusing capacity of the pulmonary membrane.
There are a variety of reasons why you might need a pulmonary function test. A PFT could also be indicated if Dr. Abroon wanted to check your lung function prior to surgery, if you have heart or lung problems, or you are a smoker. It may even be part of your annual physical or as a result of your work environment (you are a coal miner or a graphite factory worker, etc.) which can seriously impact your health over time.
We may also perform a PFT for the following:
-You have allergies
-You have a respiratory infection
-You have problems breathing, either from trauma or from a recent surgery
-You have a chronic lung condition, such as emphysema, bronchitis, or asthma
-You have a disease of the lungs called asbestosis
-You have problems breathing due to restrictive airway issues, whether from scarring in the lungs, tumors, or scoliosis
-You have sarcoidosis or inflammation around your organs, including your lungs
-You have scleroderma, a condition which results in the thickening and hardening of the connective tissue in your body
To prepare for your pulmonary function tests, you simply need let us know what medicines you are taking, and we may have you avoid taking certain ones prior to your test. If you smoke, you will need to stop before the test. Avoid eating a heavy meal prior to the test as well, and don’t consume caffeinated food or drinks beforehand. It is also best to refrain from strenuous exercise before taking the test and finally, please wear loose-fitting clothing that will allow you to breathe freely.
If you live in the New York, New York, area and need to have a PFT to assess the state of your lungs, we invite you to call 212-288-0900 to schedule a visit with our team. We are here to help you achieve and maintain your best health, and we offer a variety of screenings and treatments to help you do so!