Thank you for thinking of Respiratory Consultants of Georgia as a place to seek health care for your pulmonary (lung) disease, critical care (intensive care unit treatment), and sleep disorder care condition. Respiratory Consultants of Georgia is a medical practice providing care in a hospital setting for both inpatient and outpatient services as well as in office care.
Our goal is to provide you excellent medical care with a warm caring touch.
- On your first visit, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire concerning your medical history. Your medical history is most important and you should be 100% honest in your responses, as complete as possible, and as accurate. Click on this link to review the information we will be requesting. We will ask you to complete a computer designed form that we will scan to our system as a permanent medical history record.
- You will also be asked to complete an assessment questionnaire to obtain information about your current condition. This is also on a computer designed form that we will scan to our system as a permanent medical record. Click on this link to review the information we will be requesting. We will be requesting this information on each of your visits.
- Your insurance may require a referral from your primary care physician. You should be aware if your particular plan requires a specialist referral and if it does, call your primary care physician’s office and request that a referral be sent to us. When a referral is required, we cannot see you without one.
- We are contractually required to see a photo ID and we like to obtain a copy of your insurance card at each visit to verify that we have your insurance information correct.
- If you have a co-payment, we are contractually required to collect it – we do not have a choice in collecting it, so be prepared.
- No Shows and Late Arrival Policy:
- If a patient is more than 20 minutes late for an appointment, staff may ask to reschedule the appointment in order to honor commitments to other families.
- After 3 no-shows within a twelve month period, patients will be returned to the care of their primary care physician. This will be enforced at the discretion of the specialist who will communicate with the referring PCP prior to notifying the patient.
- No-show reschedules will be book with the physician with the first available opening – physician preference will not be considered for no-show patients.
- Repeat last-minute cancellations (notice of less than 24 hours) may qualify as no-shows.
- The cost of running a medical practice is ever increasing and we need your help to ensure our ability to be a productive practice.
- We work very hard to be on schedule; however, a circumstance beyond the physician’s control often puts us behind schedule. Hospital emergencies and life changing test results often negatively impact the schedule. We are committed to providing a warm caring touch to our patients, which often requires additional time when a family is being given life changing news. We ask for your understanding.
- Feel free to contact our office before driving over to inquire if your physician is on schedule so you can delay your arrival or reschedule to a more convenient time.
The bronchoscopy procedure is done in the hospital setting. This procedure allows us to look at your airway through a thin viewing instrument called a bronchoscope. During a bronchoscopy, we will examine your throat, larynx, trachea, and lower airways. Bronchoscopy may be done to diagnose problems with the airway or to treat problems such as an object or growth in the airway.
A chest X-ray is a picture of the chest that shows your heart, lungs, airway, blood vessels, and lymph nodes. Pulmonologists routinely use chest x-rays to assess and assist in the diagnosing of pulmonary conditions such as:
- Help find the cause of common symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain.
- Find lung conditions-such as pneumonia, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), collapsed lung (pneumothorax), or cystic fibrosis-and monitor treatment for these conditions.
- Look for problems from a chest injury, such as rib fractures or lung damage.
More information can be found using the WebMD link below.
Chest X-ray from WebMD
Intensive Care Medicine/Consultation
When patients get very sick, they can get admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). This experience can be very scary, not only for the patient but also for family members. We are consulted on most patients who are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit because of our extensive training in critical care medicine. Although our main job is to help take care of the patient’s breathing, including managing a breathing machine if it is needed, we also look at the overall picture and help explain to family members the status of their loved one. We also perform procedures in the ICU including inserting large IV’s (central line) to give the medications needed for treatment.
Pulmonary Consultation may be referred by your doctor to us where we see you in our office setting or we may be consulted to see you in the hospital setting.
When patients are admitted to the hospital, many times our services are needed. This may be to assist in managing a more common diagnosis such as a flare in emphysema, or in more complicated cases, needing to perform biopsies for a lung mass. We work closely with other physicians to make sure the patient as a whole is being treated, not just a specific problem. We also try very hard to make sure that when one of our patients that we see in the office is admitted to the hospital, we help participate in their care. We also try to ensure close follow-up after the patient is discharged because we believe that care does not end after the patient walks out of the hospital.
Pulmonary Function Testing
Alternative Names: PFTs; Spirometry; Spirogram; Lung function tests
Definition: Pulmonary function tests are a group of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they move oxygen into the blood.
How the Test is Performed: In spirometry , you breathe into a mouthpiece that is connected to an instrument called a spirometer. The spirometer records the amount and the rate of air that you breathe in and out over a period of time.
For some of the test measurements, you can breathe normally and quietly. Other tests require forced inhalation or exhalation after a deep breath.
Lung volume measurement can be done in two ways:
- The most accurate way is to sit in a sealed, clear box that looks like a telephone booth (body plethysmograph) while breathing in and out into a mouthpiece. Changes in pressure inside the box help determine the lung volume.
- Lung volume can also be measured when you breathe nitrogen or helium gas through a tube for a certain period of time. The concentration of the gas in a chamber attached to the tube is measured to estimate the lung volume.
To measure diffusion capacity, you breathe a harmless gas for a very short time, often one breath. The concentration of the gas in the air you breathe out then is measured. The difference in the amount of gas inhaled and exhaled can help estimate how quickly gas can travel from the lungs into the blood.
Unfortunately we see many patients that have severe debilitation because of their lung disease. We have many modalities of therapy including inhalers and other medications to help lung function. Pulmonary rehabilitation is another way we can help patients improve their quality of life and enable them to perform activities they never thought they would perform again. Pulmonary rehabilitation involves physical therapists doing different exercises with patients to help them improve their overall health and stamina. We have a physician who helps oversee the patients’ progress as well as therapy.
Patient’s oxygen levels are obviously very important. Pulse oximetry is routinely done in our office to help measure patient’s oxygen levels. This gives us a good idea of not only how severe a patient’s disease is, but also if a patient is sick, how sick they really are. Generally pulse oximetry is done at rest, but being pulmonary specialists, we also worry about how the lungs are functioning during activity. We are able to measure a patient’s oxygen levels while the patient is exerting by a test called a 6 minute walk. Generally the patient will walk on a treadmill while the oxygen levels are measured in real time. This enables us to determine whether or not a patient may need oxygen when walking or performing everyday activities.
Right Heart Catheterizations
Right heart catheterization (also known as pulmonary artery catheterization or Swan-Ganz catheterization) is a common procedure in critically ill patients. The catheter is a long thin hollow tube that is placed through a central venous catheter and is then guided through the chambers of the heart and into the large blood vessels of the lungs. The catheter is left in place in a pulmonary (lung) artery. This catheter measures pressures in the heart and large blood vessels and checks how well the heart is working. In patients with a lot of water in their lungs due to heart failure or inflammation of the lungs, the catheter can help monitor treatments to prevent more water from accumulating in the lungs.
Sleep studies are tests that watch what happens to your body during sleep. The studies are done to find out what is causing your sleep problems. Sleep studies can also determine whether you have a problem with your stages of sleep. The most common sleep study is Polysomnogram. This test records several body functions during sleep, including brain activity, eye movement, oxygen and carbon dioxide blood levels, heart rate and rhythm, breathing rate and rhythm, the flow of air through your mouth and nose, snoring, body muscle movements, and chest and belly movement. This study is typically conducted in a hospital or sleep center.
One of the biggest struggles that we have in pulmonary medicine is to help patients stop smoking. Nicotine is a very strong substance which not only is addictive but can cause emotional and physical side effects when it is withdrawn. We provide education about smoking and the deleterious effects of smoking as well as counseling to assist with smoking cessation. There are now many modalities to help someone stop smoking and we closely follow patients to help them be as successful as possible.
Thoracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid from the space between the lungs and the chest wall called the pleural space.
It is done with a needle (and sometimes a plastic catheter) inserted through the chest wall. This pleural fluid may be sent to a lab to determine what may be causing the fluid to accumulate in the pleural space. Normally only a small amount of pleural fluid is present in the pleural space. Accumulation of excess pleural fluid (pleural effusion) may be caused by many conditions, such as infection, inflammation, heart failure, or cancer. If a large amount of fluid is present, it may be difficult to breathe. Fluid inside the pleural space may be found during a physical examination and is usually confirmed by a chest X-ray.