Offering Comprehensive Inpatient and Outpatient Care for Respiratory Disease
At MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, we offer expert diagnosis and treatment for a full range of pulmonary conditions including asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, lung cancer, and more.
Our pulmonologists, registered respiratory therapists and nurses work together to provide comprehensive care to patients of all ages—from premature infants to elderly patients. Services are provided in inpatient or outpatient settings—depending on each patient’s unique needs—and we collaborate with primary care or referring doctors, and other specialists as needed.
Our pulmonary services team takes an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to care, seeing patients in many areas of our center including the Emergency Room and Critical Care Unit. Pulmonary care is provided around the clock and a pulmonologist is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for inpatient consultations.
Providing Outpatient Services Close to Home
In our new Pulmonary Outpatient Clinic, we offer comprehensive outpatient care to patients with acute or chronic lung disease including diagnostic testing using minimally invasive techniques as well as ongoing care management. Our clinic works closely with the physical, occupational and respiratory therapists onsite, who, are an integral part of our robust pulmonary rehabilitation program. The clinic also has a Lung Cancer Screening program for patients meeting certain criteria.
Our goal is not just to treat disease but to improve the quality of life for patients with lung conditions using the most advanced treatments
Meet Our Team
Conditions We Treat
Our team of pulmonary experts treat patients with a full range of pulmonary conditions—from acute illnesses to chronic respiratory diseases, including:
- Chronic bronchitis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
- Interstitial lung disease
- Lung cancer
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Sleep apnea
Services We Provide
We offer a comprehensive range of diagnostic and treatment techniques and technologies, many of them in our Pulmonary Outpatient Clinic.
Outpatient Pulmonary Function Services
Pulmonary function tests are non-invasive diagnostic exams that provide important information about lung volumes, capacities, rates of flow and gas exchange that doctors use to help diagnose certain lung disorders. In our pulmonary function laboratory, sophisticated diagnostic testing helps doctors evaluate lung function. A physician might prescribe a pulmonary function study for a number of reasons, including:
- Patients experiencing shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing
- Patients with a history of smoking
- Patients diagnosed with asthma
- Patients who have been exposed to some type of environmental toxins
- Patients with cystic fibrosis
Several types of diagnostic tests can be performed in the lab, including:
- Ambulating saturation
- Arterial blood gas sampling
- Cardiopulmonary exercise testing
- Impulse oscillometry
- Lung volume measurement
- Maximum expiratory pressure measurement
- Maximum inspiratory pressure measurement
- Pulse oximetry at rest and while walking
- Diffusion capacity studies
Lung Cancer Screening Program
Smoking is the single biggest cause of lung cancer, the leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. One reason is that most people don’t have symptoms of lung cancer until it is advanced, and very difficult to treat. But now there is good news.
If you are a smoker or former smoker between the ages of 55 and 74, a new screening is now available that can find cancer early when treatment is more effective. Our new Lung Cancer Screening Program consists of a low-dose (low radiation) CT scan. In recent years, screening with CT scans has been shown to reduce the lung cancer death rate among high-risk patient by 20 percent.
The procedure is painless and takes less than 10 minutes. Afterward, the lung CT scans are reviewed by radiologists who specialize in reading chest images and work closely with our pulmonologists. In addition, all the doctors in our screening program collaborate with MedStar Georgetown University Hospital oncologists and thoracic surgeons, who have special training and experience interpreting the results, and providing any follow-up care.
More and more insurance plans, including Medicare, now cover this lung cancer screening.
If your insurance won't pay for it, you may be eligible for financial help. Plus, if your first screening CT scan shows something, and more tests are needed, it is likely that these will be covered by insurance—even if your insurance didn't cover the initial screening.
Advanced Diagnostic and Treatment Procedures
Today, more and more of the advanced procedures used to diagnose and treat pulmonary diseases are now performed on an outpatient basis with minimally invasive techniques such as flexible bronchoscopy and endobronchial ultrasound. This includes lung and lymph node biopsies, which once required major surgery.
Treatments for lung disease vary according to the type of condition and its causes. Our pulmonologists work closely with each patient and his or her family to develop individualized treatment plans that will lead to the best outcomes.
For some patients, a comprehensive rehabilitation program is key to coping with pulmonary disease. Pulmonary rehabilitation can help patients regain their strength and endurance while breathing easier. An interdisciplinary team of nurses, exercise physiologists, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists provide education, psychosocial support, and treatment in the areas of energy conservation, activities of daily living, community skills, and upper extremity strength.
Our program addresses both physical and emotional issues associated with chronic pulmonary diseases and we work closely with our patients' primary care providers to ensure the highest quality of care.
Positive outcomes of pulmonary rehabilitation include a reduced number of hospitalizations, as well as reduced symptoms like shortness of breath and fatigue.
Such rehabilitation can also improve patients’ quality of life by giving them increased:
- Endurance for daily activities
- Coping skills for emotional issues that can occur with a chronic disease
- Understanding of, and compliance with, medications
- Ability to understand symptoms of lung disease
Our rehabilitation team includes:
- Respiratory therapists who provide education, oxygen therapy, administration of prescribed respiratory medication and breathing exercises, as well as monitor pulmonary status during exercise.
- Physical therapists who provide education and therapeutic exercise to increase endurance and strength.
Occupational therapists who provide education, psychosocial support and treatment in the areas of energy conservation, performance of activities of daily living, community skills, and upper extremity strength.