Thoracic Cavity Tests and Diagnoses

Thoracic Cavity Tests and Diagnoses

Thoracic Cavity Tests and Diagnoses

To diagnose lung disease, your physician will listen to you breathe with a stethoscope. If pneumothorax or atelectasis is suspected, no breathing sounds will be apparent as you inhale and exhale.

Other tests performed may include:

  • Chest X-ray: This will be used to determine whether there is air leaking outside the lung.
  • Chest computed tomography (CT) scan: This cross-sectional imaging of the chest will offer better resolution than the traditional X-ray.
  • Bronchoscopy: A bronchoscope is a flexible or rigid tube that allows your physician to see the inside of your lungs. The flexible bronchoscope is a thin tube passed through your mouth or nose, down the trachea and into the lungs, and where your doctor can collect cell samples.
  • Arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis: This blood test will be used to measure oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in your blood, as well as the blood's acidity.
  • Mediastinoscopy: This surgical procedure lets your physician examine the middle of your chest to identify the cause of any abnormal masses or determine if a cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Sternotomy: This surgical incision allows access to the heart, thymus and lungs.

The Thoracic Surgery Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital offers the latest surgical procedures for benign and malignant diseases of the chest, including the tracheobronchial tree (airways), lungs, pleura, esophagus, diaphragm, chest wall and mediastinum. Our program is comprised of a highly-specialized team that provides integrated care and practices medicine centered on each patient’s unique circumstances, including:

  • Comprehensive and seamlessly coordinated care across multiple physician disciplines, with team members from:
    • Medical oncology
    • Radiation oncology
    • Interventional pulmonology
    • Thoracic pathology
    • Thoracic radiology
  • A highly specialized team of nurses, anesthesiologists and support personnel
  • Advanced diagnostic technologies
  • Minimally invasive surgical techniques
  • Convenient and customized patient and family services
  • Significant expertise in minimally invasive surgical techniques
  • Nationally recognized clinical experts
  • Demonstrated quality outcomes
  • Access to novel therapies and clinical trials
  • Commitment to collaboration with referring physicians
  • Collaboration with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies in clinical trials to improve patient care and advance thoracic science