Overview of the Bronchiectasis Program
Bronchiectasis is a long-term condition of the lungs that can cause breathing difficulties and make the lungs more vulnerable to infection. The Pulmonology Clinic at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is comprised of expert physicians supported by a team of specialized nurses, respiratory therapists, and dietitians, all of whom have special expertise in the treatment of bronchiectasis. The hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art imaging, laboratory and microbiology facilities, which are essential for the diagnosis and management of bronchiectasis.
What We Treat
Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition in which the airways of the lungs widen, causing a build-up of excess mucus that can make the lungs more vulnerable to infection. Bronchiectasis may also cause breathing difficulties.
Bronchiectasis can have a number of underlying causes, including:
- Whooping cough
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Allergic reactions
- Blockages caused by inhaling small items (i.e. nuts or other small pieces of food)
- Inherited diseases, such as cystic fibrosis
- Disorders of the immune system
Identifying and treating the cause of a patient’s bronchiectasis can help improve their quality of life. The Bronchiectasis Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi uses state-of-the-art technology to run tests, diagnose, and determine the cause of this condition.
In some patients, however, no underlying cause can be found. This is known as idiopathic bronchiectasis. The Bronchiectasis Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides diagnosis and treatment for both idiopathic and secondary bronchiectasis using physiotherapy, medications, and, in severe cases, surgery.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Bronchiectasis
Diagnosis of Bronchiectasis
Diagnosis begins with an exam and assessment of the patient’s symptoms.
The pulmonologist may order the following tests. The results of these tests help them diagnose bronchiectasis, as well as evaluate the severity of the disorder:
- CT scan: A scan showing detailed pictures of the lungs and the inside of the chest.
- Blood tests: A blood sample will be taken and analyzed at our lab.
- Sputum microbiology: An analysis of mucus the patient has coughed up.
- Pulmonary function tests: A range of tests used to measure how well the patient is able to breathe in and out, and how efficiently the lungs provide oxygen to the blood.
Treatment of Bronchiectasis
Damage caused to the lungs by bronchiectasis is permanent, so treatment aims to relieve the symptoms, and stop the damage from getting worse. The main treatments include:
- Respiratory physiotherapy: The use of special devices can help clear mucus from the lungs, making it easier to breather.
- Medication: Helps improve airflow within the lungs.
- Antibiotics: Treat any lung infections that may develop.
In rare cases where the damage is limited to a small part of one lung, and the usual treatments have failed to improve the symptoms, surgery may be an option.
Bronchiectasis Program Caregivers
Diagnosis and treatment of bronchiectasis involves a multi-disciplinary team working in an integrated, Patients First approach. Specialized caregivers include:
- Thoracic radiologist
- Clinical microbiology physician
- Thoracic surgeon
- Specialized nursing staff
- Respiratory therapists
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