Any obstruction of the trachea or subsequent respiratory branches could result in blockage of the airway, thereby limiting the amount of oxygen entering the lungs. However, in the case of a tumor located in the right upper lobe of the lung it could lead to non-productive cough, shortness of breath and wheezing by decreasing the amount of air moving through the bronchioles and into the alveolus for gas exchange. With decreased gas exchange occurring, the aforementioned symptoms would occur by decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the respiratory system. Because the blockage occurred in the right upper lobe, flow of air to subsequent lobes thorough the lobar branches would also be significantly decreased.
If Frank had been suffering from a common upper respiratory tract infection and self-prescribed the ...view middle of the document...
In Frankâ€™s case, he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. Unfortunately, this type of cancer spreads rapidly because it can travel in the blood. Because the lungs are the gas exchange center of the body, red blood cells must filter through the respiratory system and alveoli to recycle their carbon dioxide and inherit oxygen. With every red blood cell taking this path, it greatly increases the opportunity for cancer cells to be picked up in the bloodstream and exported to other parts of the body.
Frankâ€™s doctor used a technique called spirometry to determine Frankâ€™s potential success with surgical options to eliminate the cancer. Spirometry measures the air volume during both inhaling and exhaling processes. First, the tidal volume measures the amount of air inhaled and exhaled during normal rhythmic breath. Next, the inspiratory reserve volume measures the maximum amount of air inhaled after a normal breath. Similarly, the expiratory reserve volume measures the amount of air exhaled after a normal breath has been let out. Finally, the residual volume measures the amount of air left in the lungs after maximal expiration. From these four measurements further information can be gleaned including the vital capacity, the total lung capacity, and the inspiratory capacity. By analyzing Frankâ€™s results from this test, the doctor could determine that he was eligible for surgical procedures to eliminate the cancer and in what capacity.
Based on the results of the spirometry test, Frankâ€™s doctor opted for a lobectomy of the right upper lobe. The results would read as a decreased tidal volume due to decreased air flow through the right lung as well as a decreased inspiratory and expiratory reserve volume. By excising the affect lobe, air flow could still continue through the second and third lobe of the right lung. This solution is aggressive enough to remove the affect tissue but not so aggressive as to eliminate an entire organ.