How Long Does A Pulmonary Function Test Take (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 30 minutes

The lung function tests would not take more than 30 minutes. The pulmonary tests are generally done to measure the functioning of the lungs. The lung’s capacity to transfer the oxygen can be tested or checked with the help of pulmonary function.

The pulmonary function test timing would depend on the purpose of the test. The pulmonary function test can be done for many reasons. If the pulmonary function test is done for just testing the working of lungs, then it would be done in just 20 to 30 minutes.

If the pulmonary function test is done to know the hidden health conditions of the person, then it may take more time.

How Long Does A Pulmonary Function Test Take

How Long Does A Pulmonary Function Test Take?

Pulmonary Function TestTime
In minutes30 minutes
In seconds1800 seconds

People with issues of breathing may have to get a pulmonary function test done. The doctor would recommend the person to do a pulmonary function test if the person has shortness of breath. Poeple who smoke a lot may have to do pulmonary function tests to find out any hidden diseases.

Poeple who have lung diseases would have to do a pulmonary function test done. Poeple with lung diseases may have to do the test in uniform intervals. Poeple who have breathing issues may also have asthma or lungs cancers.

Everyone who has lung cancer may not take more time to complete the pulmonary test as the doctor needs to keep a track of lungs health. There are many pulmonary illnesses that can happen to everyone.

Therefore, the doctor may ask the person to do a normal pulmonary function test which would not be more than 15 to 20 minutes. An airtight box is used for checking the inhale and exhale of the person. The lung volume would be measured by the person inside the box.

The pressure inside the box changes with time. The change in pressure would help in examining the function of the lungs. In some cases, the doctor may ask the patient to breathe helium gas or nitrogen to find out the lung volume.

Why Does A Pulmonary Function Test Take This Long?

There are two ways in which the pulmonary function test is done. The time taken by each type of pulmonary function test would not be the same. The spirometry can take some time to examine how much air is exhaled by the person. The time taken by the person to exhale the air would also affect the test time.

Poeple without lung problems would not take more time to exhale as compared to people with any lungs problems. The concentration of the gas, the person breathes out would be different for everyone.

If someone breathes the correct concentration of gas, then the person would pass the pulmonary function test without any diseases. The doctor would suggest the appropriate test to be done depending on the condition of the person.

The medical clinic or hospital may also affect the time length to complete the pulmonary function test. Some clinics may complete the test in 20 minutes while others would take more than 30 minutes. The main focus stays on measuring how the gas travels from the lungs to the blood.

If the gas travels from the lungs to the blood effectively without any issues, then the test would get complete in just 20 to 25 minutes. People should check with the doctor to know which type of pulmonary function test would be suitable for them.

The age of the person would affect the time required for completion of the pulmonary function test. Older age people may not actively participate in the test as they may have difficulty in breathing.

Conclusion

The pulmonary function test would take around 20 to 30 minutes. Everyone having mild breathing problems may not face any difficulty in the pulmonary function test. The spirometry would be over in just 30 minutes if done by the experts. The diffusion testing would take around 15 minutes to complete the whole procedure.

The body plethysmography would get completed in just 15 to 20 minutes. The lungs test should not be done without any professional or doctor’s prescription. Everyone should book an appointment for the pulmonary function test to avoid any inconvenience.

References

  1. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmra035488
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1912658/
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