Pulmonary Function Tests
Test date ___________________________
This test will be performed in the Pulmonary Function Lab (Module B6/2), at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, 600 Highland Avenue. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to allow time to complete the registration process.
Finding your way.
From the parking ramp you will enter through the main Hospital Entrance. Follow the brown pathway past the “D” elevator lobby to “Clinic Registration”. Upon completing registration you will be directed to the Pulmonary Function Lab “Check In” area.
If you are being seen at the American Family Children’s Hospital, please check in at Registration on the 2nd Floor of the Children’s Hospital. Registration will tell the Pulmonary Function Lab Staff of your arrival.
What are Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT)?
PFTs are a series of breathing tests. These tests measure the size of your lungs, and the speed in which air moves through the airways. These tests give your doctor details about how well your lungs work. Your doctor may choose from many types of breathing tests. Testing time may vary from 15 minutes to 1.5 hours. The length of the test depends on which tests are ordered.
Why do I need to have PFTs?
There are many reasons why your doctor has ordered these tests. The most common reasons are to assess:
- Presence of lung disease.
- Cause and extent of lung problems.
- Type of treatment for lung problems.
- Risk for surgery.
How do I prepare for PFTs?
• Do not exercise or eat a heavy meal for at least four hours before the test.
• Do not have any caffeine, coffee, tea, cola drinks or chocolate.
• Do not smoke the day of the test.
• We would like you to hold your inhaler 24 hours before the test unless you have trouble breathing.
• If you are having an exercise test, you may be walking on a treadmill or riding a bike. You should wear shoes and clothing for exercise (i.e. walking shoes, sweatpants, shorts).
• Just before the test we suggest that you empty your bladder.
What do I have to do during the test?
Your ability to following instructions and perform the maneuvers explained to you will be very important to obtain good test results. You will be told how to do each test before you start and the technologist will talk you through each test.
- Most breathing tests will be done while you are sitting.
- You will breathe in and out of a mouthpiece that is like a large straw to measure your lung volumes.
- You may be asked to inhale a mist or spray of medicine into your lungs to see if it improves your breathing.
- You may have blood drawn from an artery to check oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in your blood. This blood test tells how well your lungs use the air you breathe.
What do I need to do after the test?
You should feel fine after your test and be able to do your normal routine. Your health care provider will discuss your test results with you when he or she has the final report.
If you have any questions before your visit, please call the UW Pulmonary Function Lab at(608) 263-7000, or toll free 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 07/16/2012
Copyright © 07/11/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5364
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