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PFT test...what to expect?


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#1 Karenlee

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 01:18 AM

Hi everyone,

I am scheduled for a PFT test soon and don't know what to expect. Can you guys tell me what it is and what they do to you during it? I know it measures oxegyn but how? And how long does it take? I had a chest CT that showed no fibrosis or cancer, just 2 small 3mm nodules that I was assured thru 3 phone calls and 2 Dr visits was nothing to worry about. Gah! I'm scared.
Any input would be appreciated.

Karen

#2 Purr

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 02:01 AM

Hi Karen,

The PFT I had was in February. I sat in a chair and the technician explained what was going to happen. It's basically breathing into a tube. Nothing to worry about and absolutely no pain. It took about 1/2 hour. You'll be fine.

Comfort and cheer.

Christy
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#3 miocean

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 03:15 AM

Don't worry about the test. It is non-invasive and takes about 20 minutes. You are with a tech who uses a computer to measure your oxygen levels as you inhale and exhale through a machine. The hardest part for me was getting my mouth to go over the breathing mouthpiece. I have a small mouth so I had to stretch it pretty far.
You will be given instructions by the tech as to how to breath. Then they give you an inhaler with albuteral and you repeat some of the tests. You shouldn't have caffeine the day of the test because of the abuteral.

Good luck and I hope your test goes well for you!
ISN Artist

#4 Margaret

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 05:02 AM

Hi Karen ,

Gareth has had two of them. The tech walks you through the whole procedure. He had some gagging getting the mouth piece in but you should be able to go to a kid's size if you need to.

Take care, Everyone.
Margaret

#5 Peggy

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 05:17 AM

Hey There! I just had one on Monday and it's very easy. Like said earlier you sit and wrap your mouth around a piece that you inhale and then exhale into. They have a machine that measures the oxygen levels and how much you are able to exhale. It's very easy and once you've had a first one as a baseline then they will have that to measure against for the ones you will have in the future. Mine have gotten a little worse than they were before but still not real bad. Good luck and you'll do great! I hope your results are good too!

Warm hugs,

Peggy

#6 Michelle2

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:05 AM

It's a breeze, nothing to worry about. The tech walks you thru the whole test. You might even sit in the big clear box and have breath in the same sort of tube as well. It's really no biggy, you be done in about 1/2 hour.
Take care and stay warm,

Michelle

#7 RobinAustin

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 02:42 AM

Hey KarenLee!! I just had one about 3 weeks ago..no biggie! Seriously! It's not like that stress one where they make you run and do laborious things to make you breathe heavy ... Just some deep breathing into a mouthpiece and some puffing against pressure to check your lung capacity out. It really was a breeze ... Some of it was done in a clear plastic booth which was kinda cool ... very astronautical feeling but not claustrophobic in the least (i.e. you can open the booth if you're at all uncomfortable which I wasn't). Mine showed restrictive damage unfortunately so I had to have a bronchoscopy/lung lavage next and then JUST had my first round of cytoxin IV yesterday... good luck and let us know what the results show.

#8 LisaBulman

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 03:40 AM

Karen it is so easy! After the test you are going to wondering why you worried in the first place. :) I have already had about 7 this year... piece of cake. The last one I had I had to bring my kids with me ages 10 and almost 8. They sat in the room and followed the tech's direction along with me. They breathed in and out, blew out their breath hard and fast, held their breath for 10 seconds and panted along with me. You'll be fine!

Hugs,
Lisa
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#9 Karenlee

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 10:20 AM

Thanks for all your replies everyone. Doesn't seem scary at all now.
I don't go for a couple weeks, but I'll keep you posted when I go.

Thanks!
Karen

#10 Clementine

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 12:07 PM

Karen,

As a PFT veteran, they are no big deal. The worst part for me is I cough a lot during them and when I leave, I don't feel well...too much strain on my lungs I guess, but they really wear me out. When I know I am going in for a PFT, I always make sure I have something fun planned for that evening....like large amounts of chocolate or a glass of vino.

I hope you do well on your tests!

Tangelo

#11 Snowbird

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 03:12 PM

Hi Karen

Just the same as the others said, I had one as well. Don't lose any sleep over than one, it's entirely painless and easy peezy!! :)
Sending good wishes your way!

#12 GocartMoz

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 09:20 AM

Hi Karen,

I too am a veteran of these tests. Frankly, I have lost count of how many times I have had one. It really is an easy test to go through. No pain, just alot of huffing and puffing in and out into a tube. If the mouthpiece is too difficult to get your mouth around, they should have others there for you which should be easier. If you explain you are a scleroderma patient and have difficulty opening your mouth wide they will understand and fit you with a smaller, more flexible mouthpiece. Basically, you will be told by the technician what you need to do. Twenty to thirty minutes and you are out of there. No biggie. Good luck with it.

#13 Karenlee

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 08:24 AM

Hi everyone...just got back from my test and first let me say that I couldn't have asked for a nicer technitian. What a doll! And we hit it off right away. She was very knowledgable re: CREST, Scleroderma so that was a good sign.
She said my lung function was excellent and functioning at 100%. (well the reading said 101% but that doesn't make sense so I'll just go with 100).
I have a follow up with the Pulmonologist next Friday for her to look at my CT scan and PFT test and I guess she will decide how often I have to go back for re testing.
Anyway, thanks a bunch for all the support, you guys rock!!

Karen

#14 Nina

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 09:22 AM

GREAT NEWS Karen ~
Thanks for posting so quickly. These tests seem so scary at first, glad you had a good tech. that makes a big difference.
Glad things are looking positive, couldn't ask for more!
Much love,
Nina

#15 janey

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 10:38 AM

Karen,
That's fantastic!!!! Sounds like the testing and the results made you day, week, month...

As far as the 101% goes, that's based on your "reference" - age, weight, sex, history, etc. Reference points can be different for different people - so your doing BETTER than your reference points! Congratulations!

Big Hugs,
Janey Willis
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#16 KarenL

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 10:40 AM

Albuteral? I never had that! I can't imagine they would give you such a powerful drug without knowing your entire drug inventory. How strange...anyone else have that during a routine PFT??
Karen

#17 Karenlee

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 10:46 AM

Thanks Janey and Nina, yes it sure was nice to get some GOOD news for a change. It's been nothing but bad news since March and I'm so releived that my lungs are ok so far, especially since I used to smoke. That combined with the sclero had me worried out of my mind.

I absolutely loved the technitian and told her if I ever have to come back for another PFT, she'd give it or I wouldn't do it Lol She said that things looked so good, sadly she wouldnt see me again. That made me smile. :)

#18 Snowbird

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 11:37 AM

Hey Karenlee

That's great news, I'm happy for you too!! :)
Sending good wishes your way!

#19 Sweet

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 11:44 AM

Oh Karen I am so glad!! Phewwwwwwwww one last thing to worry about right now.
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
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#20 Guest_Sadie_*

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 11:44 AM

Karen, That is wonderful news!! Have a great weekend!!
Suzi