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Our Services

Our Services

We are focused on providing the best care possible to every patient who visits us.  To provide such personalized care, we make it our mission to offer the best testing available to diagnose your lung disease and the most cutting edge treatment options to help you feel better. Review our services pages to find out more about the different testing and treatments we provide.

A few of the key services we offer:

New Diagnosis/Treatments through Research

At UI Health, many physicians on our team are also doing research to better understand why different people get lung diseases and if there are new and better ways to treat them. Our patients have the opportunity to be involved in these studies and gain access to experts and new treatment options.

Diagnostic Testing

Diagnosis Services:

Advanced Testing to Evaluate Your Breathing Problems Many different tests may be used to try to determine what is causing your breathing problems and what kind of lung disease you may have. At the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, we are able to provide all medical testing and diagnosis options to give you the best possible care available. Some of the testing services we offer to diagnose your disease are:

Lung Cancer Screening

New low-dose CT screenings offer better detection at early stages, when lung cancer is more easily treated.

Breathing Evaluations

  • Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) 
    PFTs are noninvasive diagnostic tests that provide measurable feedback about the function of the lungs. By assessing lung volumes, capacities, rates of flow, and gas exchange, PFTs provide information that, when evaluated by your doctor, can help diagnosis certain lung disorders.
  • Peak Flow Measurement (often part of a Pulmonary Function Test) 
    Peak flow measurement is a procedure in which air flowing out of the lungs is measured.
  • Spirometry (often part of a Pulmonary Function Test) 
    Spirometry is a simple breathing test that measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs and how quickly. It is often used to determine the amount of airway obstruction you have.
  • Exercise Testing 
    Exercise stress tests evaluate the effect of exercise on lung function tests. Spirometry readings to evaluate your breathing are done after exercise and then again at rest.
  • Methacholine Challenge Test 
    This lung function test for asthma might be performed if your symptoms and screening spirometry do not clearly establish a diagnosis of asthma. Methacholine is an agent that, when inhaled, causes the airways to spasm (contract involuntarily) and narrow if asthma is present. During this test, you inhale increasing amounts of methacholine aerosol mist before and after spirometry. The methacholine test is considered positive, meaning asthma is present, if the lung function drops by at least 20%. A bronchodilator is always given at the end of the test to reverse the effects of the methacholine.
  • Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FENO) Test 
    An exhaled nitric oxide test is one test that may be used to check for asthma. During the test, you breathe into a mouthpiece attached to a machine that measures the level of nitric oxide gas in your breath. Nitric oxide is produced by the body normally, but high levels in your breath can mean that your airways are inflamed, which is a sign you may have asthma.

X-Rays and Scans

  • Chest X-Ray
    This procedure looks for any mass or spot on the lungs.
  • CT Scan 
    A diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs such as the lungs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays. A low dose option is available for lung cancer screening in the appropriate patient. (Visit our Lung Cancer Screening page for more information.)
  • High resolution cardiac (heart) CT scan 
    This is a simple 15-minute scan that helps us better diagnose pulmonary arterial hypertension. The scan generates high-resolution 3D images of your heart and blood vessels.
  • Chest Ultrasound 
    A chest ultrasound is a noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) procedure used to image the organs and structures within the chest. Ultrasound technology allows quick visualization of the chest organs and pleural space and structures from outside the body. Ultrasound may also be used to assess blood flow to chest organs.
  • Advanced Cardiac (heart) MRI 
    Using the latest MRI technology, the Cardiac MRI test uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to create images of the heart and surrounding blood vessels. This test may be used as part of our diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension.
  • Lung Scan 
    A lung scan is a specialized radiology procedure used to examine the lungs to identify certain conditions. A lung scan may also be used to follow the progress of treatment of certain conditions. There are two types of lung scans: ventilation scans and perfusion scans. A ventilation scan evaluates ventilation, or the movement of air into and out of the bronchi and bronchioles. A perfusion scan evaluates blood flow within the lungs.

 Blood/Lab Tests

  • Miscellaneous tests are given as necessary.

Diagonostic Procedures

Outpatient Diagnostic Procedures

  • Bronchoscopy 
    Bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to directly visualize the interior passageways of the lower respiratory tract through a bronchoscope (a long, narrow, lighted tube inserted through the nose or mouth under sedation). Bronchoscopy helps to evaluate and diagnose lung problems, assess blockages and obtain samples.
  • Lung Biopsy
    A thin, hollow needle is guided into the mass while the lungs are being viewed on a fluoroscopy or CT scan, and a sample of the mass is removed and evaluated in the pathology laboratory under a microscope.
  • Advanced Diagnostic Bronchoscopy
    • Endo-bronchial ultrasound (EBUS)
      An exam in which a bronchoscope with a small ultrasound piece on its tip is passed down the windpipe to look at lymph nodes in the space between the lungs. If enlarged lymph nodes are seen, a small needle can be passed down the bronchoscope and through the wall of the airway to get samples of the nodes for testing. You may be sedated or asleep (under general anesthesia) for this test.
  • Advanced Pleural Disease Management
    • Thoracoscopy
        Used for diagnosing and/or treating pleural lung disease, thoracoscopy is a procedure that allows us to examine the lungs or other structures in the chest cavity without making a large incision. This procedure avoids many of the complications of open chest surgery and reduces pain, hospital stay, and recovery time. As a method to diagnose lung disease, thoracoscopy involves assessing the lungs or taking a biopsy.
    • Thoracic Ultrasound
      Thoracic ultrasound is a non-invasive, pain free scan we use to visualize organs in the thoracic (chest) cavity such as the lungs and heart and to identify lung tumors. This procedure allows us to better diagnose lung diseases early, providing better treatment options for our patients and longer survival times.
    •  Thoracentesis
      Thoracentesis is a procedure in which a needle is inserted through the back of the chest wall into the pleural space (a space that exists between the two lungs and the interior chest wall) to remove fluid or air.
  • Right Heart Catheterization
    A right heart catheterization is used to diagnose pulmonary hypertension. It measures how well your heart is pumping and the overall pressures in your heart and lungs. The test usually involves inserting a catheter (thin rubber tube) through a large vein in either your leg or neck, and passing it up into your heart to measure the blood pressure. At UI Health we are doing this procedure through an arm vein to make it more comfortable for patients.

Treatments

Treatment Options

UI Health offers all of the latest treatment options available no matter what lung disease you may have. Below is more information about some of the treatments that may be recommended to you:

Medications

  • Oral medications
    Medication that is swallowed, chewed or placed under your tongue to dissolve 
  • Inhaled medications
    Medication that is inhaled directly into the lungs to quickly reach the airways
  • Vaccines
    Used as a treatment for some allergy patients, vaccines   

Procedures

  • Advanced Therapeutic Bronchoscopy
    • Stent Placement
      A stent (tube) is placed in the lung to keep your airway open.
    • Laser Removal of Tumors and Foreign Bodies
      Laser therapy is a minimally invasive tool that allows us to quickly remove tumors in your airway.
    • Bronchial Thermoplasty 
      Bronchial thermoplasty is a non-drug treatment for patients 18 years and older who have severe, persistent asthma that is not well controlled with inhaled medications such as corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists. It involves three bronchoscopy procedures over three weeks that target different areas of the lungs. Bronchial thermoplasty reduces asthma attacks, emergency rooms visits for respiratory symptoms, and time lost from work, school and other daily activities due to asthma.
    • Pleurodesis and minimally invasive procedures for Emphysema
      Pleurodesis is a procedure that causes the membranes around the lungs to stick together and prevents the buildup of fluid in the space between the membranes (pleural space).
  • Advanced Pleural Disease Management
    • Thoracoscopy
      Used for diagnosing and/or treating pleural lung disease, thoracoscopy is a procedure that allows us to examine the lungs or other structures in the chest cavity without making a large incision. This procedure avoids many of the complications of open chest surgery and reduces pain, hospital stay, and recovery time.
    • Indwelling Pleural Catheterization
      Indwelling pleural catheterization is a procedure to treat built up fluid in the lungs that is causing shortness of breath. A small tube is placed in your chest cavity to drain the fluid from around your lungs easily and painlessly whenever needed. It avoids the need for repeated chest tube insertion every time the fluid collects.

Disease Education & Management Resources

  • Specialized disease support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Certified disease educators
  • Medication advising from a pharmacist
  • Insurance and billing resources
  • Access to a social worker
  • Support groups