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Respiratory medicine

Rapid assessment and treatment of respiratory problems

Respiratory problems can often be quite frightening to experience. Whether you’re struggling with a long-term cough or increased breathlessness or wheezing, you will appreciate rapid assessment and treatment from an experienced Consultant.

The appearance of COVID-19 has made many people much more aware of their respiratory health, and its importance in daily life. To people with long-term respiratory problems this has been nothing new, but increased awareness in the wider population has led to many more people seeking medical help for various symptoms.

Common symptoms of respiratory disease include: 

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

You may be struggling with a flare-up of a pre-existing respiratory condition. Alternatively, you may be concerned by new symptoms that have suddenly started without an obvious trigger. Whatever your situation, at BMI Hendon Hospital we can provide you with personal Consultant-led care tailored to your needs, so that you can get back to better respiratory health without delay.  

If you would appreciate expert guidance, why not book your private appointment now at BMI Hendon Hospital, while it’s fresh in your mind? 

Respiratory medicine is involved with the diagnosis and management of diseases affecting: 

  • the lower respiratory tract (trachea, bronchi, and lungs
  • the lining (pleura) of the lung and chest wall 
  • some structures in the centre of the chest (these are known as mediastinal structures), such as the lymph glands 

A doctor who specialises in this field is a Consultant Respiratory Physician.

Diseases and conditions affecting the respiratory system may be: 

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

Respiratory conditions found within these categories include: 

  • 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)
  • Sarcoidosis (an inflammatory condition that may cause shortness of breath and/or a persistent cough)
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnoea 

There are a wide range of treatments available, including inhalers or medicines (antibiotics, steroids, immune modulators or other), and treatment is always tailored to the individual.

For various symptoms or conditions, your Consultant may work closely with specialists in other fields to ensure you receive the best treatment. For example, if pains in your chest are found not to be caused by a respiratory condition, referral to Cardiology may be indicated. Similarly, a persistent cough without an obvious respiratory cause may be referred to our colleagues in Gastroenterology or ENT. 

Should lung cancer be diagnosed, rapid referral to the relevant Oncology team will be made. 

This multi-speciality approach to your care means you will always receive the optimal treatment plan for your specific condition, from an expert in the relevant field. 

Please note that patients with symptoms or a diagnosis of Long COVID are best treated by specialist clinics established in Primary Care, not the Respiratory Consultant at BMI Hendon Hospital. We are of course happy to assess and advise you with any respiratory symptoms. 

Your first consultation at Hendon will be directed at diagnosing your condition and determining the best possible treatment for you.

Your Consultant will take a detailed medical history and will ask you in detail about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. They will normally carry out a physical examination of your chest and any other relevant systems. A stethoscope will be used to listen to your chest as you breathe in and out.

There are a variety of tests that can be helpful, including: 

  • Spirometry - blowing into tube to measure airflow and lung capacity. This can also be used for asthma assessment, as it can indicate inflammation in the airways, and responsiveness) 
  • Serial Peak Flow measurements  
  • Chest X-ray 
  • Blood tests 
  • Computed Tomography (CT) of the chest  
  • Bronchoscopy - a telescopic view of the airways (done under sedation) 
  • Ultrasound (U/S) of the chest +/- guided drainage of fluid between the lung and chest wall 
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan 
  • Analysis of available tests that may have been done previously 

While some of these can be carried out on-site at BMI Hendon Hospital, others will be arranged for you off-site. Where appropriate, Sleep Studies, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans and EBUS-TBNA (for cellular analysis of lymph glands), can also be requested outside the hospital.

Once a diagnosis has been made, your Consultant will discuss options with you and will formulate a treatment plan. If you have any questions or concerns, they will happily discuss these with you during your private appointment.  

Many of our Respiratory patients live locally, although excellent road links makes it easy to travel from other parts of North London, and further afield. The nearest underground station (Hendon Central) is approximately a 20-minute walk from the hospital. 

When you choose to visit BMI Hendon Hospital in London, you will benefit from: 

  • Fast assessments from an expert – Many chest and lung conditions respond best when diagnosed at an early stage. We can arrange a private appointment for you quickly, so that you can get a diagnosis and start the right course of treatment sooner.
  • Consultant-led care – You will see the same Consultant for each visit and will never have to worry about being treated by a more junior doctor. They will oversee every aspect of your care, from initial consultation and diagnosis through to treatment planning, treatment, and ongoing monitoring. This ensures excellent continuity of care. 
  • Appointments to suit your schedule – We appreciate that life is often extremely busy. For that reason, we offer flexible appointment times, including weekday evenings, so that you can schedule an appointment at a time that is convenient for you.
  • Remote appointments available – Although many people prefer having their appointment in person at the hospital, we can offer telephone appointments if required. (Many people find this most convenient for follow-up appointments.) 
  • Patient Satisfaction – In an independent survey, 99.8% of patients said they were likely or highly likely to recommend us to their family and friends. While we are extremely grateful for this excellent feedback, we don’t take it for granted. Every member of the BMI team works hard every day to ensure each person trusting us with their care receives the very highest level of support. 
  • A wider team – Your Consultant works closely with specialists in other fields, including radiology, cardiology, gastroenterology, and ENT. Quick, simple access to this wider team means you will always see the most appropriate specialist for your needs. 
  • A friendly welcome – the hospital is easy to find and not overwhelming in its size. Unlike many much larger hospitals in and around London, you won’t get lost in the corridors! 

For peace of mind and known expert care, why not contact us today to book your private Respiratory appointment? We look forward to welcoming you to BMI Hendon Hospital and helping you to get the support you need without delay.  

Specialists Offering Respiratory medicine

Dr Ash Husain

Consultant Chest Physician

MBBS, MD, FRCP

BMI The Cavell Hospital 2 more BMI Hendon Hospital BMI The Kings Oak Hospital

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Dr Dean Creer

Consultant Respiratory Physician

MBChB MRCP (UK)

BMI Hendon Hospital

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