All you need to now about Pulmonology
Pulmonology in Germany specializes in the research and diagnosis of diseases of the lungs and respiratory tract. Pulmonology in Germany focuses on the following main areas: Thoracic surgery, respiratory disorders, tuberculosis and thorax tumors.
List of diseases that are treated by clinics specializing in pulmonology in Germany
- Respiratory disorders
- Diseases of the lower respiratory tract
- Lung tissue diseases
- Pathological changes of pulmonary arteries
- Pleural diseases
- Lung cancer
Range of diagnostic services
- Functional lung analysis: spirometry, pneumotachograph of a forced exhalation — "flow-volume" curve, plethysmography of the whole body, hyperactivity of the bronchi test, provocative inhalation allergy test, strength of respiratory muscles test, ergospirometry
- Test of arterial blood gases at rest and under load, determination of biochemical need for oxygen
- Sleep Medicine Center: Screening of sleep disorders
- Endoscopy: Flexible bronchoscopy, transbronchial lung biopsy, endobronchial ultrasound diagnosis (EBUS), bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL, including therapeutic bronchoscopy), stiff bronchoscopy under anesthesia
- Sonography of pleural cavity and lungs
- Exploratory puncture of pleural cavity with ultrasound navigation
- Puncture of kidneys controlled by ultrasound or computed tomography
- Pulmonary artery pressure measuring
- Bronchial carcinoma (I-ELCAP Protocol: lung cancer early detection project)
Range of therapeutic measures
German clinics perform treatment of almost all pulmonological diseases associated with the control of breathing, the dysfunction of gaseous exchange between the blood and exhaled air, the functional activities of the lower respiratory tract, pulmonary tissues and pleural cavity.
The main focus areas of pulmonology in Germany:
- Therapy of interstitial lung diseases ("pulmonary fibrosis")
- Sarcoidosis therapy, localized inside and outside the lungs
- Therapy of bronchial asthma that proves difficult to heal
- Pulmonary hypertension therapy
- Opening of bronchial lumen that was impassable due to neoplasms (using laser therapy, stentinga and a new alternative therapy method: combination of laser and X-ray ("afterloading") irradiation)
- Multimodal and molecular treatment of bronchial carcinoma
Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery — VATS
There is a huge number of diseases of respiratory organs, the majority of them leave no trace after special treatment (lung infarction, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, tracheobronchitis, etc.). At the same time German specialists with vast experience are, for example, unable to completely cure chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. If a patient suffers from a complex disease of the lungs or esophagus, which is impossible to diagnose and especially to cure without surgical intervention, proven methods of thoracic surgery are able to help the specialists. One of these methods is the video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, or VATS.
VATS in the area of pulmonology in Germany counts as a minimally invasive surgery, which can be used only on the early stages of lung cancer. The whole operation is carried out through three small incisions 2-3 centimeters in length, though one of which a mini-camera is introduced. Using it a surgeon can visualize any part of the thorax. A pouch for removed tissues is used to carefully extract malignant nodules from the lungs. After this surgery the patient recovers rather quickly without experiencing much pain.
Diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in Germany
The most accurate method of diagnosing this dangerous disease used in pulmonology is the polymerase chain reaction technique (sputum examination). Together with it German doctors use following endoscopy based methods: tracheobronchoscopy (tuberculosis treatment with the use of bronchoscope), thoracoscopy (examination with the use of thoracoscope), transbronchial biopsy (in the case of detected pathologies of the bronchi), therapeutic bronchoscopy or bronchoscopic lavage (sampling of lavage fluid during bronchoscopy) and pleural puncture. Together with these modern methods for diagnosing tuberculosis, following traditional techniques are used: Tomography and radiography. After the correct diagnosis was established, pulmonologists prescribe drug treatment, however, in advanced forms of tuberculosis only surgical intervention in conjunction with chemotherapy and medications can be effective.