Information for Doctors

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Thoracic Medicine

Think you might have a breathing disorder or just looking for more information?

Sleep Medicine

Latest News

In what may be the largest study of sleep problems among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers at UC Davis have found that widely undiagnosed sleep disorders may be at the root of the most common and disabling symptom of the disease: fatigue. Study paticipant reports of sleep disorder frequency, sleep patterns and complaints of excessive daytime sleepiness suggest that sleep problems may be a hidden epidemic in the MS population.

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A sleep-promoting circuit located deep in the primitive brainstem has revealed how we fall into deep sleep. Discovered by researchers at Harvard School of Medicine and the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, this is only the second "sleep node" identified in the mammalian brain whose activity appears to be both necessary and sufficient to produce deep sleep.  Using designer genes, researchers were able to 'turn on' specific neurons in the brainstem that result in deep sleep.

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Insomnia can cause chronic inflammation, which can lead to weight gain, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and earlier death. This study finds that curing the insomnia reduces the inflammation and hopefully reduces disease. It also found the best way to cure lack of sleep is through the use of a common psychotherapy treatment - cognitive behavioural therapy.

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Getting enough sleep is important to people of any age, but it is especially so for teenagers, with insufficient sleep possibly being linked to obesity as an adult.

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A study is shining new light on a sleep disorder called “sleep drunkenness.” The disorder may be as prevalent as affecting one in every seven people. Sleep drunkenness disorder involves confusion or inappropriate behaviour, such as answering the phone instead of turning off the alarm, during or following arousals from sleep, either during the first part of the night or in the morning. An episode, often triggered by a forced awakening, may even cause violent behaviour during sleep or amnesia of the episode.

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Ever wondered about the effects of binge sleeping? Are naps bad or how long should you nap for? For all these myths debunked follow the link

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Bronchoscopy

What is Bronchoscopy?

A bronchoscopy involves the use of a flexible fibreoptic (video) scope to examine the main airways of your lungs.  The bronchoscope will be inserted into your lungs through your mouth, however you will be given sedatives and anesthetic so you will not feel a thing.  A bronchoscopy allows your doctor to examine any abnormalities in your airways and collect specimens if required.  The procedure usually takes 10-20 minutes.

WHy is the test performed?

A bronchoscopy can be performed for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.  Common reasons to perform a bronchoscopy are to determine if you have inflammation, infection or abnormalities such as tumors or foreign bodies inside your lungs.
Therapeutic reasons for performing a bronchoscopy include removing fluid or mucus plugs, remove foreign objects, treat a cancer, wash out the airway or widen an airway that has been blocked or narrowed.

Advanced Airway Procedures

In more complex clinical situations, we can provide advanced procedural services such as:

  • Laser photocoagulation, electrocauterization or argon plasma coagulation of exophytic tumors, granulation tissue or benign lesions.
  • Laser resection of benign tracheal and bronchial strictures.
  • Stent insertion to palliate extrinsic compression of the tracheobronchial lumen from either malignant or benign disease processes.


how should i prepare for my bronchoscopy?

NIL BY MOUTH 8 hours before the procedure – this means no food, fluid, water or smoking. If you are a diabetic check with your doctor, special precautions may need to be taken.

Check with you doctor about any medications you usually take and whether you should take these as normal before the procedure or not. Warfarin and Aspirin should be ceased 5 days prior to your procedure.  Please discuss this with your doctor.  

If you have any x-rays or scans, bring these with you.

Arrange for someone to pick you up after the procedure as it is advised that you don’t drive or catch public transport alone following sedation.
 
AFTER THE PROCEDURE

You will be sleepy for approximately 30 minutes after the procedure.  You will be taken to the recovery area to rest until the effects of the sedation have worn off and your normal reflexes have returned.  It is not uncommon to cough and bring up blood stained sputum afterwards.  Occasionally patients develop a fever several hours after the procedure – this can be treated with paracetamol.  If this does not settle down, please call your doctor’s office.

Will I feel anything during MY bronchoscopy?

No.  When you arrive you will be given local anesthetic spray to your throat.  This numbs the throat reducing any discomfort during the bronchoscopy.  You may also be given a sedative injection, but will not be completely ‘sent to sleep’ as you might for a major operation.

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