A pulmonologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders and conditions of the respiratory system, including:
Though the lungs usually come to mind first when talking about pulmonology, the respiratory system is made of several parts, including:
What conditions do pulmonologists treat?
Pulmonologists treat several kinds of respiratory conditions, including:
What procedures do pulmonologists perform?
Pulmonologists perform several tests, including imaging tests used to diagnose and understand the respiratory issues you are experiencing. These tests include:
In addition to testing and imaging, a pulmonologist performs several procedures that can help improve the function of your lungs. Some common procedures include:
When should I go to a pulmonologist?
For many minor concerns or symptoms of the respiratory system, you’ll receive care from your primary care physician (PCP). Your PCP will usually refer you to a pulmonologist if you’re experiencing the following:
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, a pulmonologist may refer you to a pulmonary surgeon who specializes in treating your condition.
What can I expect during my first pulmonologist appointment?
A typical first visit to a pulmonologist begins with a physical exam. Your doctor will likely ask questions about your medical history, condition, and any symptoms you’re experiencing.
Depending on your symptoms, your pulmonologist may recommend blood work, imaging, or other diagnostic tests. You can also expect them to discuss your treatment plan, including some procedures and their associated benefits or risks.
What questions should I ask my pulmonologist?
It’s important to feel prepared when you go to your pulmonologist appointment. To help you get started, we’ve created a list of good questions for you to ask during your appointment:
In addition to asking questions, there are several things you can do to get the most out of your pulmonologist appointment: