In medicine, pulmonology is the specialty that deals with diseases of the lungs and the respiratory tract. It is called chest medicine and respiratory medicine in some countries and areas. Pulmonology is generally considered a branch of internal medicine, although it is closely related to intensive care medicine when dealing with patients requiring mechanical ventilation. Surgery of the respiratory tract is generally performed by specialists in cardiothoracic surgery . Chest medicine is not a specialty in itself but is an inclusive term which pertains to the treatment of diseases of the chest and contains the fields of pulmonology, thoracic surgery, and intensive care medicine. Pulmonology is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases, as well as secondary prevention.Physicans specializing in this area are called pulmonologists.
Surgical treatment in generally performed by the thoracic surgeon, generally after primary evaluation by a pulmonologist.Medication is the most important treatment of most diseases of pulmonology, either by inhalation or in oral form.Oxygen therapy is often necessary in severe respiratory disease.When this is insufficient, the patient might require mechanical ventilation.