Information for Doctors

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Thoracic Medicine

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Sleep Medicine

Latest News

Often times when we can’t sleep or we feel tired throughout the day, there are common “quick fixes” which we use to help us fall asleep easier and give us an extra boost in the morning. However, some of these habits can often be detrimental to your sleep health, affecting you not just at night, but throughout the day as well.

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New research has found that the less we sleep in midlife, the faster our brains can decline and lead to cognitive impairment in old age.

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“What is happening in YOUR sleep?!? How can you really know? Ever thought of using a sleep app? There are some misunderstandings to what data is relevant when using sleep apps so understanding the limitations are IMPORTANT. "It is always recommended to follow up with a sleep study to be sure nothing is missed. “

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A diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) may raise the risk of osteoporosis, particularly among women or older individuals, according to a new study. OSA is a condition that causes brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. If left untreated, OSA can raise the risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.  New research shows that OSA may also increase the risk of osteoporosis.

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Insomnia predisposes individuals to increased risk of stroke and this association is profound among young adults – up to eight times greater among insomniacs 18 to 34 years old.  The results of a recent study underscore the clinical importance of identifying and treating insomnia.

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Heavy drinking damages the body in many ways. In addition to liver failure, alcoholics are at a much greater risk of developing pneumonia and life threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), for which there is no treatment. Researchers suspect that alcoholics are more susceptible to these lung diseases because the immune system in the lung is no longer strong enough to protect from infection and damage, but, it had been unclear why the immune system in the lung fails.

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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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