Department of Pulmonology

General Services

Pulmonary Medicine deals with diseases of the respiratory tract such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, malignancies of the lungs, tuberculosis and interstitial lung diseases. The field of pulmonary medicine is rapidly evolving with newer diagnostic and therapeutic techniques available for dealing with complex disorders of the lungs.

Pulmonary diseases are some of the commonest medical conditions worldwide. Lakhs of people are suffering from pulmonary diseases in India alone. Infections, smoking, and genetics cause most pulmonary diseases.

Your lungs are a part of an intricate system, relaxing and expanding thousands of times every day to bring in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Pulmonary diseases can occur when there are problems in any part of this system.

Pulmonologists are experts in treating the diseases of the respiratory system, especially those of the lungs. These conditions can occur due to things like tissue overgrowth, inflammation, and infections. Many of these conditions may require long-term treatment plans, some of which may be continued lifelong.

Some diseases treated by pulmonologists include asthma, aspergillosis, bronchitis, bronchiectasis, COVID-19, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, interstitial lung disease, sarcoidosis, pulmonary hypertension, tuberculosis, and sleep apnea. A pulmonologist can also manage lung diseases related to occupation including Chronic beryllium disease (berylliosis), Asbestosis, Silicosis, and Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (black lung disease).

Lung Diseases affecting the Airways

Your trachea or the windpipe branches into several tubes referred to as the bronchi, which in turn branch into smaller tubes throughout the lungs. Following are some of the diseases that can affect these airways:

  • Asthma
    In this condition, the airways are constantly inflamed and may spasm, giving rise to shortness of breath and wheezing. Infections, allergies, or pollution are some common triggers of asthma symptoms.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    People who have this lung condition can’t exhale normally, which causes trouble breathing.
  • Chronic bronchitis
    A long-term wet cough is brought by this form of COPD.
  • Emphysema
    Due to lung damage, air is trapped in your lungs in emphysema. Its hallmark is trouble blowing air out.
  • Acute bronchitis
    It is an infection of the airways, caused by a virus.
  • Cystic fibrosis
    People who have cystic fibrosis have trouble clearing the mucus out of the bronchi, giving rise to repeated lung infections.

Lung Diseases Affecting the alveoli or the Air Sacs

The airways form branches and give rise to tiny tubes called bronchioles. These bronchioles end in air sac clusters called alveoli. Most of the lung tissue is made by these air sacs. Following are some lung diseases affecting the alveoli:

  • Pneumonia
    It is characterised by infection of the alveoli, usually caused by viruses or bacteria, including the COVID-19 causing coronavirus.
  • Tuberculosis
    This pulmonary infection is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Emphysema
    This condition develops when the fragile links between the alveoli are damaged. The primary cause of this condition is smoking.
  • Pulmonary edema
    There is leakage of fluid from the small blood vessels of the lung into the air sacs and the area around those. Sometimes, it is also caused by heart failure and back pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs. At other times, lung injury causes the leakage of fluid.
  • Lung cancer
    Lung cancer is of many types. While it can originate from any part of the lungs, it most commonly develops in the main part of the lung, in or surrounding the alveoli.
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
    This is a sudden, severe lung injury that occurs due to a severe illness. One example of this condition is COVID-19. Many ARDS patients require help breathing from a machine known as a ventilator until their lungs recover and start functioning normally.
  • Pneumoconiosis
    This is a condition that occurs due to inhalation of something that causes lung injury. Examples of pneumoconiosis include asbestosis that occurs due to asbestos dust and black lung disease that occurs due to coal dust.

Lung Diseases affecting the Interstitium

Interstitium is the delicate lining that lies between the air sacs or the alveoli. It is run by tiny blood vessels to allow the transfer of gases between the alveoli and the blood. Following are some pulmonary diseases affecting the interstitium:

Interstitial lung disease (ILD): It refers to a group of lung disorders including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, and autoimmune disease.

Pulmonary edema and pneumonia can also affect the interstitium

Lung Diseases affecting Blood Vessels

The right portion of the hearts receive blood low in oxygen from the veins. It pumps the blood into the lungs through the pulmonary arteries. Diseases can develop within these blood vessels too.

  • Pulmonary embolism(PE)
    It is characterised by dislodging of a blood clot to the heart, which then gets pumped into the lungs. The clot narrows or obstructs a pulmonary artery, often resulting in low blood oxygen levels and shortness of breath.
  • Pulmonary hypertension
    Several conditions can result in high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. This can cause chest pain and shortness of breath. If your healthcare provider can’t determine a cause, it will be referred to as idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Lung Diseases affecting the Pleura

The thin lining surrounding the lungs and the inside of the chest wall is called pleura. The pleura on the surface of the lung slides along the chest wall with each breath with the help of a tiny layer of fluid. Following are some lung diseases that affect the pleura:

  • Pleural effusion
    It is characterised by accumulation of fluid in the space between the chest wall and the lung. Heart failure or pneumonia are usually the main cause of this. Large pleural effusion can lead to difficulty in breathing, so the pleural fluid may need to be drained.
  • Pneumothorax
    Air may accumulate into the space between the lung and the chest wall, resulting in lung collapse.
  • Mesothelioma
    It is a relatively rare lung cancer that develops on the pleura. The cancer tends to develop several decades after exposure to a substance called asbestos.

Lung Diseases affecting the Chest Wall

The chest wall also has a vital role to play in breathing. The ribs are connected to each other by muscles that help in the expansion of the chest. The diaphragm descends with each breath, also resulting in chest expansion. Following are some diseases affecting the chest wall:

  • Obesity hypoventilation syndrome
    Excess belly and chest weight can make it hard for the chest to expand, causing serious breathing problems.
  • Neuromuscular disorders
    You might experience difficulty in breathing when the nerves that regulate the respiratory muscles don’t function normally. Myasthenia gravis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are examples of neuromuscular lung disease.

If you are experiencing symptoms that your general physician is not able to help you with, or if they presume that you can get access to better care by visiting a specialist, they might refer you to a pulmonologist. These signs and symptoms may include:

  • A cough that worsens or doesn’t improve with time.
  • Chest pain or tightness.
  • Dyspnea or shortness of breath.
  • Symptoms of sleep apnea like loud snoring or extreme tiredness.
  • Wheezing.
  • Dizziness.

If you have already been diagnosed with a lung disease or a respiratory disorder, you may continue having to see your pulmonologist so that your illness can be managed.

At your first appointment, you should be ready to share your medical history with your pulmonologist and undergo a physical examination, including that of the respiratory system. You can discuss with your doctor the reasons you are there and explain your symptoms in detail. Your doctor might advise you to run some tests so that the diagnosis and treatment plan are decided. These might include:

  • Imaging tests like computed tomography (CT) scans or Chest X-rays.
  • Blood analysis.
  • Spirometry.
  • Pulmonary function tests.
  • Sleep studies.
  • Bronchoscopy.

If you are suffering from an illness that requires long-term management, you should continue visiting your doctor at the appointments as scheduled and to follow recommendations. These tests may be required to be repeated later so that your doctor knows how well your treatment is working.

Breathing is indispensable to living. However, you may not realise how important it is until you experience some sort of problem that interferes with normal breathing. The issue might start with something small and annoying, like a simple cough and go to worsen into something quite complicated and life-threatening. Therefore, it is best to get things checked regularly to ensure that everything is working smoothly. A pulmonologist can provide you with the best care possible as far as lung diseases are concerned. In collaboration with the other healthcare providers on your healthcare team, he will help you make the best decisions for your health.

The Department of Pulmonary Medicine at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore, offers comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic care for a diverse range of pulmonological diseases. Our services include endoscopic ultrasound, endo bronchial ultrasound, endobronchial brachytherapy, innovative therapeutic techniques, bronchial thermoplasty and surgical interventions like video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery and lung volume reduction. Consult the best pulmonologists in Indore at our hospital. Visit the top pulmonology department in Indore for treatment of respiratory disorders such as bronchoalveolar lavage, pulmonary function tests, tracheotomy, and pleuroscopy services.

We follow an evidence-based approach during all our services to ensure excellent outcomes matching international standards. Apart from having a fully-equipped Bronchoscopy suite with C-arm facilities, we house a state-of-the-art PFT machine. Our focus is on ensuring the speedy recovery of the patient and helping him return to normal activities of daily life as soon as possible.