Pulmonary Fibrosis or Lung Fibrosis is a disease in which the scarring of the lung tissue causes thickening. This affects the flow of oxygen into the bloodstream and results in lack of oxygen in the body. Pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by multiple causes but in most of the patients when the doctors are not able to pinpoint the cause of lung fibrosis, it is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
As per Dr Kuldeep Kumar, Chief Pulmonologist and Lung Specialist at CK Birla Hospital, Gurgaon tells, "primary symptoms of the disease include shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, aching muscles and joints, widening and rounding of the tips of the fingers in hand and toe. "
Pulmonary Fibrosis can be caused by long term exposure to toxins like asbestos, silica dust, grain dust, bird and animal droppings, radiation etc. Some drugs like the chemotherapy drugs, heart medications and antibiotics can also be the cause behind Lung Fibrosis.
Patients who have been suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux disease are also at a higher risk for ILD apart from the occupational and smoking risks.
Complications of Pulmonary Fibrosis include increase in the blood pressure in pulmonary arteries. This condition is called pulmonary hypertension. This can cause the right side of the heart to fail due to excessive workload. Pulmonary Fibrosis combined with pulmonary hypertension can result in respiratory failure. Long term pulmonary fibrosis can also cause lung cancer. As pulmonary fibrosis progresses, it may lead to complications such as blood clots in the lungs, a collapsed lung or lung infections.
High Resolution CT Scan of the Lungs (HRCT - Chest) is one of the first investigation which is done to diagnose the presence of Pulmonary Fibrosis. CT Scan gives very clear pictures of the lungs including the extent of the damage caused by Fibrosis. Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) is done to measure the flow of oxygen from the lungs to the bloodstream. However confirmatory test for ILD is Lung Tissue Biopsy. The lung tissue is taken through Bronchoscopy. In this procedure, the pulmonologist uses a flexible tube which has LED Light, High Definition Camera and Biopsy instruments. This tube is inserted through the nose and slowly pushed into the lungs through the windpipe. The camera sends pictures from the inside of the lungs which are seen on the computer screen. The lung tissue which is taken during this procedure is the sent to the lab for detailed analysis.
The lung scarring that occurs in Pulmonary Fibrosis can't be reversed. The treatment will not always be effective in stopping the ultimate progression of the disease. Some treatments may improve symptoms temporarily or slow the progression of the disease. Some new medications have got the approval of the regulatory bodies for use in the treatment of Pulmonary Fibrosis and have been found to be effective. These drugs reduce the speed of the disease and may even stabalize the condition. If Pulmonary Fibrosis is accompanied or caused by Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, then medicines are given to reduce the stomach acid. Modifications in the diet will also help the patients of GERD.
Dr Kuldeep Kumar is one of the best pulmonologist when it comes to the treatment of any kind of Lung disease including Pulmonary Fibrosis. Best results are acheived when you consult the doctor at an early stage. The costs associated with the treatment of Lung Fibrosis are in the form of consultation, diagnosis, medication and hospitalization if required. Diagnostic tests like HRCT Chest costs Rs. 5500, PFT test costs Rs. 1000 - 2500, Bronchoscopy costs Rs. 10000 - 12000. The cost of medications at present is slightly higher as newer drugs used in the treatment of Pulmonary Fibrosis are patented. If the disease is controlled at an early stage then the cost of treatment is quite low. However if the patient reaches the hospital at an advanced stage of Pulmonary Fibrosis then hospitalization becomes mandatory. Since these patients have respiratory issues, they have to be admitted to the ICU where the cost of the treatment could be Rs. 25000 - 50000 for each day.
Dr Kuldeep Kumar is the Chief Pulmonologist and Incharge of ICU at CK Birla Hospital, Sector-51, Gurgaon. He can be consulted in the OPD for Covid-19 treatment or Post Covid Complications. The consultation fee is Rs. 1000 and the timing for consultation is from 11 am - 3 pm. Dr. Kuldeep Kumar is also available for consultation at Miracles Mediclinic, Sector-14 from 5 pm - 6 pm in the evening for the patients who are still scared of going to big hospitsls.
We have developed the most advanced Pulmonology department at CK Birla Hospital which is fully equipped to take care of all kinds of Pulmonary conditions.
We have the most advanced Intensive Care Unit equipped with the latest Ventilators, Monitors and other Life Saving Equipments. Our services run round the clock so that we are there when you need us the most.
Dr Kuldeep Kumar
Chief Pulmonologist and Critical Care Specialist
CK Birla Hospital, Gurgaon
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