Information for Doctors

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Thoracic Medicine

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Sleep Medicine

Latest News

Health professionals around the world are becoming alarmed by the rapid growth rate of the e-cigarette industry, with the product being so new to the market that research into their long term health effects does not exist. Talks held in Melbourne by government funded VicHealth highlighted concerns for the unregulated industry overseas targeting the younger population.

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On September 28th someone could die……….Who will be the victim in The Simpsons season 26 premiere “Clown in the Dumps”? Homer Simpson, who has a newly-diagnosed sleep disorder could be a likely candidate. With a portly build and a large neck circumference, television’s most famous cartoon dad has long fit the profile of a person at-risk for sleep apnoea.

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Lack of sleep, already considered a public health epidemic, can also lead to errors in memory.  A new study found that participants deprived of a night’s sleep were more likely to distort the details of a simulated burglary they were shown in a series of images. "People who repeatedly get low amounts of sleep every night could be more prone in the long run to develop these forms of memory distortion," one researcher said. "It's not just a full night of sleep deprivation that puts them at risk."

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Up to 70% of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients experience sleep problems that negatively impact their quality of life. A new article discusses the underlying causes of sleep problems in PD and describes the most appropriate diagnostic tools and treatment options.

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People diagnosed with depression need to step out for a cigarette twice as often as smokers who are not dealing with a mood disorder. Those who have the hardest time shaking the habit may have more mental health issues than they are actually aware of, research suggests. While the number of Australians who smoke declines, about 40 per cent of depressed people are in need of a regular drag.

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Are you having trouble sleeping, snoring, waking tired or unrefreshed, and becoming excessively sleepy throughout the day? A home based sleep study may be an appropriate option for you. Medicare offers rebates for one (1) home based sleep study per year.

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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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