Lung Procedures, Tests & Treatments | American Lung Association

Lung Procedures, Tests & Treatments

Depending on your symptoms and diagnosis, your doctor might recommend a lung test or procedure. Use the glossary or search field below to learn more about various procedures.


Bronchoscopy is a technique used to look at your air passages with a small camera that is located at the end of a flexible tube.

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Chest Tube Procedure
A chest tube is a plastic tube that is used to drain fluid or air from the chest.

CT Scan
Cat scan or CT scan, is a diagnostic test that uses a series of computerized views taken from different angles to create detailed internal pictures of your body.

CT Scan-Guided Lung Biopsy
Radiologists use a CT scan-guided lung biopsy to guide a needle through the chest wall and into the lung nodule to obtain and examine tissue.

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Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS)
EBUS (endobronchial ultrasound) bronchoscopy is a procedure used to diagnose different types of lung disorders, including inflammation, infections or cancer.

Exhaled Nitric Oxide Test
An exhaled nitric oxide level test can help diagnose and manage asthma.

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A lobectomy is a surgical procedure where an entire lobe of your lung is removed for a variety of reasons that may include a lung cancer diagnosis, infection, COPD or benign tumors.

Lung Function Tests
Lung function tests (or pulmonary function tests) include a variety of tests that check how well the lungs work.

Lung Volume Reduction Surgery
Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) is a procedure designed to help you breathe easier when your lungs have been damaged by severe COPD.

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Methacholine Challenge Test
Methacholine challenge test (also known as bronchoprovocation test) is performed to evaluate how “reactive” or “responsive” your lungs are to things in the environment.

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Oxygen Therapy
Oxygen therapy is a treatment that provides you with supplemental oxygen.

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Pulse Oximetry
The pulse oximeter, or Pulse Ox, is an electronic device that measures the saturation of oxygen carried in your red blood cells.

The Basics of Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR/Rehab) can help people with chronic lung disease improve lung function, reduce symptoms and improve quality of life through exercise and education.

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Six-Minute Walk Test
The six-minute walk test is used as a simple measure of aerobic exercise capacity.

Spirometry is the most common type of pulmonary function or breathing test that measures how much air you can breathe in and out of your lungs.

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A thoracotomy is a surgical procedure in which a cut is made between the ribs to see and reach the lungs or other organs in the chest or thorax.

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