Pulmonary function test 

What Is Pulmonary function tests (PFTs)?

Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are non-invasive tests that show how well the lungs are working. The tests measure lung volume, capacity, rates of flow, and gas exchange. This information can help your healthcare provider diagnose and decide the treatment of certain lung disorders.

When Would You Need To Do PFT?

Diagnose lung disease

Monitor the effect of chronic diseases like asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, or cystic fibrosis

Detect early changes in lung function

Identify narrowing in the airways

Evaluate airway bronchodilator reactivity

Show if environmental factors have harmed the lungs

Preoperative testing e lungs

What Should You Expect During PFT?

You may have your procedure as an outpatient. This means you go home the same day. Or it may be done as part of a longer stay in the hospital. The way the procedure is done may vary. It depends on your condition and your healthcare provider’s methods. In most cases, the procedure will follow this process: 

  • You’ll be asked to loosen tight clothing, jewellery, or other things that may cause a problem with the procedure. 
  • If you wear dentures, you will need to wear them during the procedure. 
  • You’ll need to empty your bladder before the procedure. 
  • You’ll sit in a chair. A soft clip will be put on your nose. This is so all of your breathing is done through your mouth, not your nose. 
  • You’ll be given a sterile mouthpiece that is attached to a spirometer. 
  • You’ll form a tight seal over the mouthpiece with your mouth. You’ll be instructed to inhale and exhale in different ways. 
  • You will be watched carefully during the procedure for dizziness, trouble breathing, or other problems. 
  • You may be given a bronchodilator after certain tests. The tests will then be repeated several minutes later, after the bronchodilator has taken effect.

How Can You Prepare For PFT?

Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure to you. Ask him or her any questions you have. You may be asked to sign a consent form that gives permission to do the procedure. Read the form carefully. Ask questions if anything is not clear. 

Tell your healthcare provider if you take any medicines. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. 

Make sure to: 

  • Stop taking certain medicines before the procedure, if instructed by your healthcare provider. 
  • Stop smoking before the test, if instructed by your healthcare provider. Ask your provider how many hours before the test you should stop smoking. 
  • Not eat a heavy meal before the test, if instructed by your healthcare provider 
  • Follow any other instructions your healthcare provider gives you 

Your height and weight will be recorded before the test. This is done so that your results can be accurately calculated. 

By When Can You Expect Your Reports?

30-60 minutes. 







Frequently Asked Questions

What does a PFT involve?

During a PFT, you will be asked to breathe into a special device called a spirometer. This device records your lung function by measuring factors like lung volume, airflow, and the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Can anyone undergo PFTs?

PFTs are safe for most individuals, but they may not be suitable for those with certain medical conditions or recent surgeries. Your healthcare provider will assess your eligibility for the tests.

How often should PFTs be repeated?

The frequency of PFTs depends on the individual’s health condition and the guidance of their healthcare provider. They may be done periodically to monitor lung function or as needed to assess specific respiratory symptoms.