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Pulmonology (Respiratory Care)

You should never ignore symptoms like wheezing, chest pain or a long-lasting cough. They may be signs you need to seek care for a respiratory (breathing) disease.

Many respiratory disorders get worse over time. The earlier you’re diagnosed, the sooner you can get treatments to help you breathe easier.

Pulmonologists are doctors who specialize in the respiratory system. They care for problems with the trachea (windpipe), lungs and the airways inside the lungs. Some pulmonologists at PeaceHealth also treat sleep disorders, critical illnesses or injuries.

If you have asthma or COPD, you’ll find expert care — including minimally invasive treatments — at PeaceHealth.

Pulmonology (respiratory care) at PeaceHealth

PeaceHealth aims to help you breathe and live better.

A team approach

Breathing problems can affect everything from sleep to stamina. An  expert team is at your service to provide heart and vascular care [link to Heart and Vascular landing page], pulmonary rehabilitation, sleep medicine [link to Sleep Medicine page] and thoracic surgery.

Education and support on-site

It can feel overwhelming  learning to manage your condition. That’s why a nurse is available to meet with you after every appointment to answer your questions about medicines or test results or show you how to use your inhaler or home oxygen supplies.

Innovative care for lung cancer

Some of our pulmonologists perform endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), a minimally invasive procedure that can biopsy, diagnose and stage lung cancer in a single procedure.

Minimally invasive surgery

PeaceHealth offers robotic surgery to treat lung cancer. Using a procedure called lobectomy, surgeons at PeaceHealth remove only the cancerous lobe of the lung — not the entire lung. This may result in fewer scars, less pain and faster recovery after surgery.

Conditions We Treat


Asthma causes the airways in your lungs to swell or narrow, which makes it hard to breathe. Dust, pollen or smoke can trigger symptoms.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

COPD is a chronic condition that makes it hard to breathe. It occurs in people who have lung damage.

Interstitial lung disease

This group of respiratory conditions causes scar tissue to build up in the lungs and can keep oxygen from passing from the lungs into the bloodstream.

Lung cancer (Pulmonology)

This cancer begins in a lung. The two main types are non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. 

Pleural diseases

The pleura is a piece of tissue that surrounds the lungs and the lining inside the chest cavity. When certain health conditions such as a viral infection or congestive heart failure affect the pleura, they may cause lung diseases such as pleural effusion and pleurisy.

Pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis causes thick, stiff tissue to build up around the alveoli (air sacs) inside the lungs. This makes it hard for oxygen to pass through the lungs into the bloodstream. 

Pulmonary hypertension

This type of high blood pressure harms the pulmonary arteries (blood vessels in the lungs). It forces the heart to work harder to pump blood through the lungs.

Respiratory failure

This condition occurs when the body has too little oxygen or too much carbon dioxide. A symptom of low oxygen is shortness of breath. Extra carbon dioxide can cause rapid breathing or confusion.


This inflammatory disease causes clumps of abnormal tissue to grow in certain organs, including the lungs, lymph nodes or skin.

Sleep Conditions

Your nose and throat can affect your sleep and disturb those who are sleeping around you. Snoring is caused when your airway is partly blocked. Sleep apnea, a potentially serious condition, causes you to stop breathing while sleeping. Young children and teens can experience sleep problems which can often be treated by a tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy.

Treatments Provided

Diagnostic testing (pulmonology)

Certain tests help diagnose lung problems or check whether treatments are working. Blood tests measure how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are in the blood. Imaging tests look for narrowed airways, scar tissue or tumors. And biopsies look for cancer cells or damage inside lung tissue.

Education and counseling (pulmonology)

Our educators help patients manage or improve their condition. They can help you make lifestyle changes, manage your medicines or avoid asthma or COPD triggers.

Interventional procedures (pulmonology)

These are minimally invasive procedures performed with thin, hollow tubes (bronchoscopes). They let doctors see inside the chest or lungs without cutting open the chest. These procedures may help diagnose or treat respiratory problems.

Lung cancer screening (pulmonology)

We offer yearly screening exams for people who are high-risk for lung cancer. A test called a low-dose CT scan can find lung cancer in its earliest stage, while it’s often still treatable. 

Lung transplant evaluation and care (pulmonology)

We assess whether people who have lung disease need a lung transplant and are healthy enough for surgery. If you’re added to the transplant waiting list, we’ll manage your health needs until a new lung is available.

Medicine management (pulmonology)

Medicines help prevent flare-ups and open airways, or they can slow the buildup of scar tissue. Many respiratory medicines come in devices called inhalers or machines called nebulizers.

Pulmonary critical care

Many pulmonologists at PeaceHealth have extra training in critical care medicine. This means they care for very sick or injured patients in our intensive care units.

Pulmonary function tests

Several tests measure how well the lungs work. These include arterial blood gas tests,  bronchial challenge tests and spirometry.

Pulmonary hypertension clinic

We offer a team approach to care for people with pulmonary hypertension. Specialists, such as cardiologists, work with pulmonologists to lower the risk of heart problems that are caused by narrowed pulmonary arteries. These include arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and heart failure.

Surgery (pulmonology)

Thoracic (chest) surgeons treat lung cancer and other problems. Procedures include surgery to remove part or all of a lung. We offer minimally invasive methods such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and robotic assisted thoracic surgery. 

Pulmonary rehabilitation (pulmonology)

Respiratory therapists help people learn to manage their disease, including how to exercise safely to improve heart health and increase energy. They also teach special ways to breathe to help raise oxygen levels in the blood.