Cochise Oncology

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How is a Pulmonary Function Test Performed?

Your lungs quite literally enable you to breathe. Therefore, maintaining optimal lung function is imperative for your overall health. A Pulmonary Function Test at Cochise Oncology may just be the most important analytical tool to help you identify and combat issues ASAP.

Pft Tuscon

What is a PFT?

Pulmonary Function Tests are a physical examination of the lungs that are used to test the working function of your lungs. It uses a variety of individual exercises to record lung capacity, blood oxygenation capabilities, and overall health. The PFT is, therefore, provides valuable insight that can help diagnose a wide range of health conditions and pulmonary diseases, such as;

  • Allergies,
  • Asbestosis,
  • Asthma,
  • Bronchitis,
  • Bronchiectasis,
  • COPD,
  • Lung cancer,
  • Lung fibrosis,
  • Pulmonary tumors,
  • Sarcoidosis,
  • Scleroderma.

Due to the need for accurate results, the PFT process is one that should only be completed by an experienced doctor. Cochise Oncology uses the Pulmonary Function Test to support men, women, and children with suspected lung problems. It can additionally be used to form a part of an overall annual health check.


Simply fill out the form on this page to request an appointment and one of our knowledgable team members will reach out to you. Or call our Sierra Vista oncology center to schedule directly at (520) 803-6644.

Steps to a Pulmonary Function Test 

Prior to undergoing a PFT at Cochise Oncology, it’s imperative that the right preparations are in place. This may include coming off of medications for a few days, avoiding large meals, and not drinking caffeine. Your doctor can create a personalized plan at the consultation stage while also providing further instructions, such as wearing loose clothing.

The PFT itself will focus on three main examinations. Therefore, anyone undergoing the process should familiarize themselves with the following:

  • Spirometry – this test is used to monitor your lungs as you breathe in and out. The assessment is completed by breathing in and out a machine via a mouthpiece. During this test, your nose will be blocked off by a nose clip for more accurate results. In some cases, patients are asked to take a medicine that opens up the airways first. Either way, the exam will use a combination of deep breathing and rapid bursts of short breaths.
  • Plethysmography – this test is used to measure the lung volume. You’ll be asked to stand in a booth and breath out into a mouthpiece. The associated machine will subsequently use pressure analysis to gain an accurate diagnosis.
  • Diffusion capacity – this test focuses on the function of the lung’s alveoli, which are small air sacs. The assessment is completed by breathing a range of different gases including oxygen, carbon dioxide, and helium. The aim is to see how well your lungs can differentiate those gases and transfer them to/from the bloodstream.

When Should I Consider a PFT?

Pulmonary Function Tests are used for several reasons, which is why thousands of patients benefit from them each year. If you are worried about potential symptoms of lung conditions, the PFT is a great way to investigate it. The tests can also be used to monitor chronic lung problems, test your lungs before surgery, or check your health following exposure to chemicals like asbestos.

You should also be in a fit state for the PFT. If you’ve recently had a heart attack, chest surgery, abdominal surgery, eye surgery, or have a known respiratory infection, Cochise Oncology can help you find alternative solutions.


*Individual Results May Vary


At Cochise Oncology, we know optimal cancer treatment places the patient first – and our patients experience this every day. Read what our satisfied patients are saying about their experiences at Cochise Oncology.

Take the Next Step

Are you ready to learn more about pulmonary function testing? Reach out to Cochise Oncology at (520) 803-6644 or fill out the consultation form on this page. We look forward to meeting you!

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