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Respiratory medicine

Rapid assessment and treatment of respiratory problems

Respiratory problems can be worrying to experience. Whether you’re struggling with a long-term cough, breathlessness or wheezing, you’ll appreciate rapid assessment and treatment from an experienced consultant.

Your symptoms may have only recently started, and you’re now looking for a diagnosis of the cause. Alternatively, an existing respiratory condition may have flared up once again and you’d like some advice on how to effectively manage it.

Whatever your situation, at BMI The Chaucer Hospital you will receive personal consultant-led care, tailored to your particular needs and condition, so that you can get back to better respiratory health without delay.

Respiratory medicine at The Chaucer is involved in the diagnosis and management of diseases of the airways and substance of the lung (known as lung parenchyma), which include air sacs (alveoli) and the vessels.

We also manage diseases of the lining (pleura) of the lung and chest wall, and those affecting some mediastinal structures (meaning those in the centre of the chest), such as lymph nodes.

Common symptoms of respiratory disease include:

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

Based in the heart of Kent, the Respiratory Physicians here at The Chaucer provide private respiratory care for people across the county, from Canterbury to Faversham and Dover, as well as further afield.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you may be quite concerned and anxious to know what’s going on. Why not book an appointment with a consultant to ensure an accurate diagnosis and an expert treatment plan?

Respiratory Physicians manage a range of diseases and conditions that often fit into one of six categories:

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

Respiratory conditions 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 consultants in another speciality to ensure you receive the best treatment. For example, if you’re getting pains in your chest, you might be referred to Cardiology to rule out any heart problems. Radiologists will report all imaging carried out at The Chaucer and can facilitate image-guided biopsies. Should there be a diagnosis of lung cancer, appropriate discussions are held with Thoracic Surgeons and Oncology colleagues about treatment options.

This multi-disciplinary team approach to your care ensures you will always receive an accurate diagnosis and the optimal treatment plan for your specific condition, from an expert in the relevant field.

Your first consultation at The Chaucer will be focussed on diagnosing your condition and determining the optimal treatment for you as soon as possible.

Your consultant will take a detailed medical history and talk with 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, using a stethoscope while you breathe in and out.

There are a number of tests that can be helpful in coming to a diagnosis. Initial tests may include:

  • Spirometry (blowing into tube to measure airflow and lung capacity. This can also be used to show inflammation in the airways and responsiveness if your consultant needs to make a detailed analysis for asthma treatment)
  • Serial Peak Flow measurements (these can be easily done at home with a peak flow meter)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Blood tests
  • Analysis of available tests that may have been done previously.

Depending on what these test show, you may need additional investigations such as:

  • Computed Tomography (CT) of the chest to give detailed cross-sectional images through the chest
  • Bronchoscopy - a telescopic view of the airways under sedation, allowing capture of samples for analysis
  • Ultrasound (U/S) of the chest +/- guided drainage of fluid between the lung and chest wall
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan for superior images of the spine.

These can all be carried out on-site at The Chaucer. Where appropriate, Sleep Studies and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans and EBUS-TBNA (a procedure for cellular analysis of lymph glands), can be requested outside the hospital. 

Once a diagnosis has been made, your consultant will be able to tailor a treatment plan to best manage your condition. They will talk this through with you, and if you have any questions or concerns, they will happily discuss these with you.  

There are a number of reasons people choose to come to The Chaucer for help with their respiratory health. These include:

  • Assessments ASAP – Certain chest and lung conditions respond best when diagnosed at an early stage. We can arrange an appointment with you quickly, meaning you’ll get a diagnosis and will be able to start the right course of treatment sooner.
  • Fast access to diagnostic tests - Patients at The Chaucer are often able to have spirometry, blood tests and an initial chest X-ray on the same day as their first appointment, or very soon afterwards. CT scanning is available on-site and can usually be expedited within days when needed.
  • Patient Satisfaction – In an independent survey, 97.9% of patients said they were likely or highly likely to recommend us to their family and friends. While we are grateful for this feedback, we don’t take it for granted and work hard every day to ensure each person who visits with us receives the very highest level of care and support.
  • Depth of experience – Respiratory Physicians have accredited training and experience in General Medicine and are able to manage many other medical problems. They can also recognise and direct your care to another specialist where appropriate.
  • Personalised care – For respiratory health, there is no ‘one size fits all’ treatment. The best treatment for your condition will be one that is tailored to your specific needs in order to successfully manage and treat your condition.
  • Appointments to suit your schedule – We appreciate that life is often extremely busy. For that reason, we offer flexible appointment times so that you can schedule a time with your consultant at a time that is convenient for you.
  • Convenient location – BMI The Chaucer Hospital is centrally located in East Kent and provides good access for locals as well as those travelling from further afield to visit with us.

Whether you have a pre-existing respiratory issue that needs managing, or you’re experiencing new symptoms that are concerning you, such as breathlessness, book your appointment online today.

Our experienced consultants will organise any diagnostic tests needed to thoroughly investigate your symptoms, outline all suitable treatment options for you promptly, and get your treatment started as soon as possible.

Specialists Offering Respiratory medicine

Mr Syed Husain

Consultant Respiratory & General Physician

FRCP (Glasgow), FCCP (USA)

BMI The Chaucer Hospital

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