Correct treatment for any respiratory condition depends on an accurate diagnosis. With so many problems causing similar symptoms, your first consultation at Bath Clinic will be focussed on getting clarity about the cause of your symptoms.
Most people are referred to us by their GP or another healthcare professional. A medical referral is helpful, as it means your consultant has access to your previous medical history and any recent or relevant test results, such as blood tests or a chest X-ray.
When you meet with your consultant, they will take a medical history and talk with you in detail about the symptoms you have been experiencing. They will also carry out a physical examination of your chest and any other relevant systems, using a stethoscope to listen to your lungs as you breathe in and out.
There are a number of tests which can be helpful in coming to a diagnosis, including:
- Chest X-ray – many people who visit us have had a recent X-ray arranged by their GP. If not, this will be done at Bath Clinic on the same day as your consultation.
Lung Function Tests – measurements of airway and lung function
- Blood tests
- Analysis of available tests which may have been done previously
Depending on what these tests show, you may need additional investigations such as:
- Computed Tomography (CT) of the chest to give detailed cross-sectional images through the chest
Bronchoscopy - a telescopic view of the airways under sedation, allowing capture of samples for analysis
Ultrasound (U/S) of the chest +/- guided drainage of fluid between the lung and chest wall
Some of these tests and investigations can be done at Bath Clinic while others will be arranged for you off-site (at the RUH) if required. Where appropriate, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans and other advanced investigations can also be requested outside the hospital.
Once any results are back and a diagnosis has been made, your consultant will meet with you again to talk about treatment options to best manage your condition. If you have any questions or concerns, they will of course be very happy to discuss these with you.
Treatment for respiratory conditions is very much a collaboration between you and your consultant. They will monitor the effects of any treatment, and if adjustments are needed at any time (for example, changing the dose of medication) this is easily arranged.