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Respiratory medicine

Rapid assessment and treatment of respiratory problems

Any respiratory problem can be horrible to experience. Whether you’re frustrated by a long-term cough or concerned by increased breathlessness, you’ll appreciate fast assessment and treatment from an expert in respiratory health. 

Many people who visit our Respiratory Physicians have an existing respiratory condition that has flared up again and is no longer being managed by their current treatment. Others may have only recently experienced new symptoms and they want to know what’s causing them and how best to treat it. 

Whatever your symptoms, at The Shirley Oaks Hospital you will receive personal Consultant-led treatment, tailored to your specific requirements and condition, so that you can return to better respiratory health, sooner. 

Respiratory medicine at Shirley Oaks diagnoses, manages and treats disorders and diseases of the airways and substance of the lung (known as lung parenchyma), including air sacs (alveoli) and the vessels.

Our Respiratory Physicians also manage diseases of the pleura (lining of the lung and chest wall) and some mediastinal structures (those in the centre of the chest) such as lymph nodes.

Some of the common symptoms of respiratory disease include: 

  • Breathlessness 
  • Shallow or rapid breathing 
  • Persistent coughing
  • Coughing up blood or sputum
  • Chest pain 
  • Wheezing

Based on the outskirts of Croydon, the Respiratory Physicians here at Shirley Oaks provide private respiratory care for people across Surrey as well as further afield.

If you have any respiratory symptoms that are causing you concern, it can be sensible to get expert medical assessment and advice. Why not book an appointment with a Respiratory Physician to ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis and the ideal treatment plan for your specific condition? 

There is a wide range of respiratory diseases and conditions. For simplicity, they can be categorised as: 

  • Allergic 
  • Vascular
  • Autoimmune / Inflammatory
  • Infective
  • Cancer 
  • Idiopathic (unknown cause) 

Some of the common respiratory conditions within these categories are:

  • Asthma 
  • Pneumonia
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Interstitial lung diseases such as Pulmonary Fibrosis (scar tissue in the lungs)
  • Lung cancer
  • Bronchitis (inflammation of the airways - bronchi - in the lungs)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels in the lungs)
  • Sarcoidosis (an inflammatory condition that can cause a cough and shortness of breath)
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnoea 

There are good, effective treatments available for many conditions, to help resolve symptoms. These may be inhalers or medicines (antibiotics, steroids, immune modulators or other), and treatment is always best when it is tailored to the individual. The benefit of seeing a Respiratory Physician at Shirley Oaks is that your treatment will be carefully monitored and adjusted to ensure your symptoms continue to be well controlled.

Your Respiratory Physician works closely with specialists in other areas, like Cardiology or Radiology, to ensure you always have access to the best treatment. This multi-disciplinary team approach to your care ensures you receive an accurate diagnosis and the optimal treatment plan for your specific condition, from an expert in the relevant field. 

When you first meet your Respiratory Consultant at Shirley Oaks, the focus will be on getting a diagnosis and planning the best treatment for you.

Your Consultant will take a medical history and ask you to talk about your symptoms. A physical examination of your chest will normally be carried out and they may use a stethoscope to listen to your breathing.

A number of additional investigations can be helpful in diagnosing respiratory problems. These will be arranged for you by your Consultant if required, and may include:

  • Spirometry – measures airflow and lung capacity but can also demonstrate inflammation in the airways. Often used when planning asthma treatment
  • Serial Peak Flow measurements - these can be easily and regularly done at home with a personal peak flow meter
  • Chest X-ray
  • Blood tests
  • Analysis of any previous tests where the results are readily available 

Depending on your symptoms, the clinical examination of your chest and the results of any tests, you may be referred for:

  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan of the chest – uses X-rays and computer technology to produce detailed cross-sectional images of the chest
  • Bronchoscopy – carried out under sedation. A flexible telescope (bronchoscope) is passed up your nose and down into your lungs to allow your Consultant to examine your airways. If needed, a biopsy can be carried out to capture samples for further analysis
  • Ultrasound (U/S) of the chest – may also be used for guidance if fluid between the lung and chest wall needs to be drained
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan – provides superior imaging of soft tissues in the chest 

These can all be carried out on-site at Shirley Oaks. If more complex investigations are required, these can be arranged by your Consultant but may be off-site.

Once the results of any tests are back and a diagnosis has been made, your Consultant will tailor a treatment plan to manage your condition. They will explain this to you, and if you have any questions or concerns, they will happily discuss these with you.  

People living in Croydon and other parts of Surrey trust us with their respiratory health.

Many are referred directly to us from their GP or private medical insurance provider. Others have been recommended to us by family or friends who have previously been treated by us.

We treat patients with private medical insurance and those who choose one of our self-pay options.

When you choose Shirley Oaks for your treatment, you will benefit from: 

Expert Assessment, FAST – Many respiratory conditions are more effectively treated when diagnosed at an early stage. We can arrange an appointment for you quickly, so that you’ll get a diagnosis and be able to start the best course of treatment sooner. 

Rapid access to diagnostic tests – Respiratory patients at Shirley Oaks are often able to have spirometry, blood tests and an initial chest X-ray on the same day as their first appointment, or very soon afterwards. Other investigations like CT or MRI can be arranged quickly when required. 

Patient Satisfaction – In an independent survey, 97.7% of patients said they were likely or highly likely to recommend us to their family and friends. Our focus is on providing the very highest level of care and support for everyone who trusts us with their respiratory health. 

Depth of experience - Respiratory Physicians have accredited training and experience in General Medicine and are often able to manage many other medical problems. The breadth of their training also means they can direct your care to another specialist where required. 

Personalised care – There is no ‘one size fits all’ treatment for respiratory health. The best treatment for you will be one that is tailored to your specific needs to successfully manage and treat your condition. Regular reviews with your Consultant allow further refining of treatment when needed to better optimise your symptom relief.  

Appointments to suit you – Life can often be very busy, and we know the challenges involved in trying to coordinate diaries and schedules. busy. We offer respiratory appointments throughout the week so that you can book a time that is convenient for you.

Convenient location – The Shirley Oaks Hospital is located on the outskirts of Croydon and easily accessible by car, train and public transport. Our car park has 100 spaces, so you won’t have to worry about where to park when you visit.

Whether you have a pre-existing respiratory issue that now needs further treatment, or you have new symptoms, such as shortness of breath or wheezing, why not book an appointment with an experience Respiratory Physician? They will thoroughly investigate the cause(s) of your symptoms, plan the best treatment for you, and get you back to better respiratory health sooner.  

Specialists offering Respiratory medicine

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Dr Aji Kavidasan

Consultant in General & Respiratory Medicine


The Saxon Clinic 1 more Shirley Oaks Hospital

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Dr Adrian Draper

Consultant Thoracic and General Physician


Shirley Oaks Hospital

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Professor Suveer Singh

Consultant Respiratory Physician


Shirley Oaks Hospital 1 more The Sloane Hospital

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Dr Shanthi Paramothayan

Consultant Respiratory Physician


Shirley Oaks Hospital

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