We all know how the chest-up is usually done. Some people undergo regular chest check-ups because of health conditions and some are limited to mandatory fluorography once a year for a work certificate. However, the study of the chest organs can vary, they can either be X-ray, CT, endoscopy or even surgery
X-rays during chest examination
The simplest way to examine internal organs is to take a picture using a special equipment. Depending on the type and power of the device, the images will have different quality and depth.
- Fluorography (FLG) – It provides a digital or film image of the lungs. The picture is taken at the expense of X-rays of a very small dose. This is the most common type of examination that is safe even for children. The image of the lungs even though it is snot very clear it is quite informative. FLG is traditionally used to prevent tuberculosis.
- Lung X-rays – Here the picture is clearer than in FLG due to the high dose of radiation. However, it should not be performed on pregnant women and people who have a weak health.
- Ultrasound – This is an absolutely safe examination that can be used in the examination of all chest organs as well as in detecting fluid in the pleural cavity.
When undergoing FLG and X-ray you will asked to undress and stand in front of the device that will take the images. All decorations on the neck should be removed because they will block the body.
During the ultrasound examination, the body is covered using a gel to make the sensor glide much better and to examine the desired region of the chest.
This is one of the key non-invasive methods of chest examination. It has various advantages such as production of high quality images and it is almost completely safe for patients. There are two types of tomography hat are used for the chest examination:
- Magnetic resonance imaging – This allows the examination of the entire cardiovascular and respiratory systems in detail. It should not e performed in people who are overweight as the table of the device is designed to occupy 120-130kg. However, MRI is safe for children, pregnant and nursing mothers and it does not use X-rays.
- Computed tomography – This is used to obtain a 3D model of internal organs. CT operates on the principle of X-ray but it has no other contraindications, except age and for pregnancy.
Before undergoing a CT scan you will e asked to fill our a contract for medical services, a consent to the processing of personal data and a questionnaire with information about your health. The latter will assist the radiologist to focus on important points of the study.
After that, you will taken for an X-ray and the technician will explain to you the progress of the study. You will also be required to undress but not completely: you can simply remove clothes that contain metallic objects such as jewellery, shoes and glasses.
You will then go to the examination room where you lie on the table of the CT scanner. The lab technician will be monitoring the progress of the study. Therefore, if you feel uncomfortable, you should stop the examination immediately. All you are needed to do is follow the technician’s instructions and hold your breath at the right time. Moreover, making small movements will not distort the images shot with the CT scan.
If you need to do a study with contrast, after the series of pictures in the lab, the technician can inject you with a contrast substance intravenously and the amount will depend on your weight. After that the procedure will be resumed for a couple of minutes.
The whole examination usually lasts not more than 15 minutes. After that the lab technician will help you rise up from the table and the transcript will be ready as soon as the procedure is done.
Endoscopy in lung studies
As part of the endoscopy, a tool with a camera is injected through natural pathways in the body. A high quality image is transmitted to the monitor so that you can view the desired region.
Bronchoscopy is the only method of non-surgical chest endoscopy. It is used for both diagnostics and treatment. With the help of an endoscope it is possible to remove mucus, pulp and foreign bodies, introduce drugs, as well as taking sputum and tissue samples for analysis.
The examination is done if you have conditions such as respiratory failure, exacerbation of asthma, heart attack and blood cot disorders. Before the examination you will you will undergo tests such as:
- Blood tests for HIV and hepatitis
Chest examination by surgery
There will be no doctor who will perform a strip surgery before an examination. There are thus two types of endoscopy that are performed under the general anaesthesia through chest incisions:
- Thoracoscopy – This is a study of the surface of the lungs and pleural cavity by inserting an endoscope. Tissue samples can be taken and the right medications prescribed.
- Mediasynoscopy – It is an examination of the mediastinium, which is carried out to assess the tumour of the lungs or to establish the cause of the enlargement of the lymph nodes.
The puncture of the pleural cavity and the biopsy of the pleura are also done. The doctor injects a needle into the body and takes a piece of tissue or pleural fluid for analysis.
The whole study takes about fifteen minutes. Afterwards, the lab technician will help you rise from the table and the transcript is usually ready once the procedure is done.
A more serious type of surgical examination is thoracotomium. The doctor independently examines all internal organs and opens the chest. A significant advantage of thoracotomy is the ability to take samples of any tissues for examination and prompt treatment.
When are examinations prescribed?
It is easier to study the organs of the chest and it is the one that is more often prescribed. It is recommended that you undergo fluorography at least once a year for prevention of various conditions. If you are in contact with people and food, FLG results will be needed to assess work.
If you do not have other serious conditions then there will be no need to perform other examinations. For instance if you have ARD or angina there is no need to perform endoscopy or MRI. However, for the cases of pneumonia a tomography and bronchoscopy will be needed. Other types of conditions that require serious examinations are:
- Foreign body in the airways
- Suspicion of oncology,
- Abscesses and cysts in the airways and lungs
- Inflammation of the pleura
- Enlargement of lymph nodes
- Injuries and pongousion in the chest.
There are very few contraindications in studies:
- X-rays and CT- Should not be done on pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
- MRI – Not for people who are overweight and those who have metal implants, pacemakers and claustrophobia.
- Bronchoscopy – It exacerbates asthma.
- All types of endoscopy – Causes impaired blood clotting, internal bleeding, acute pulmonary failure, heart attacks and peritonitis.
Such examinations are necessary when analysing a diseases because without them it will be difficult to prescribe the right treatment. Moreover, all types of examinations provide the opportunity to get immediate treatment. Despite their complexity, they are more often done if you have conditions related to the respiratory system.