Pulmonology is a sub specialty of internal medicine. Pulmonologists focus on diseases of the lungs and bronchial tubes. These diseases are often discovered by evaluating the upper respiratory tract (nose, pharynx and throat) as well as the heart. Pulmonologists complete a typical 4 year medical school program and an internal medicine residency. After that, they spend an additional 2-3 years studying conditions specific to the respiratory system.
Some of the conditions common to pulmonology are pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis, emphysema and other complicated chest infections. Some of these conditions can be managed by your regular primary care physician; however, if you find yourself short of breath, dizzy, or have trouble sleeping due to an obstructed airway, you should consider asking your doctor for a referral.
Pulmonologists use a wide variety of diagnostic tests to help them confirm your condition. You may have to undergo a pulmonary function test (very common in this field) which tests your lung's capacity in several different ways. Other tests include a six minute walk in our office, lab draws, sleep studies and even biopsies.
Major surgical procedures are performed by a cardiovascular/thoracic surgeon. We do perform some procedures using a very small fiber optic cable to look inside your air canals. Pulmonologists also spend time in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) taking care of critically ill patients.
Nader Eldika, MD specializes in Pulmonology at Kansas Physician Group. Learn more about his background.