Department of Pulmonary Medicine

At Rela Department of Pulmonary Medicine, we provide world-class patient care by combining our strengths in clinical care, research and education.

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Department Overview

Department of Pulmonary Medicine at Rela Hospital provides world-class patient care by combining our strengths in clinical care, research and education. With a sizeable number of experienced pulmonologists, who are the best doctors in Chennai, allergists/immunologists, infectious disease experts and critical care specialists, the Department of Pulmonary Medicine staff diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of disorders in our outpatient offices, inpatient hospital floors, and intensive care units.

Our expertise in pulmonary and critical care medicine continues the department’s tradition of delivering exceptional patient care by using innovative techniques, cutting-edge diagnostic tools and minimally invasive procedures. This has enabled our pulmonologists to establish a reputation for excellence and life-saving care that helps each of our patients breathe a little easier, making us the best chest hospital in Chennai.

Who is a Pulmonologist?

A pulmonologist is a doctor who specialises in respiratory or lung disorders. They identify the conditions like asthma, COPD, and lung infections and prescribe the medication accordingly. They develop treatment plans, which most often involve medication and lifestyle changes, using tests and imaging. Pulmonologists focus on enhancing lung wellness and work with other doctors for holistic support.

What conditions can a pulmonologist diagnose and treat?

A pulmonologist can diagnose and treat a wide range of respiratory or lung-related conditions, including but not limited to:

  1. Asthma
  2. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  3. Pneumonia
  4. Bronchitis
  5. Interstitial lung disease
  6. Pulmonary fibrosis
  7. Lung infections
  8. Examples of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea
  9. Lung cancer
  10. Allergies affecting the respiratory system
  11. Pleural diseases
  12. Tuberculosis
  13. Pulmonary embolism
  14. Cystic fibrosis
  15. Occupational lung diseases

Therefore, pulmonologists utilise several diagnostic tools to evaluate and manage these conditions so that the patient can breathe much easier and enhance their lung efficiency.

What are some common symptoms of pulmonary disorders?

 Common symptoms of pulmonary disorders include:

  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Wheezing or noisy breathing
  • Coughing up blood or mucus
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing during physical activity
  • Recurrent respiratory infections

Can pollution impact lung health? 

Yes, exposure to air pollution, industrial fumes, and other environmental toxins can harm lung health and increase the risk of respiratory conditions, particularly in vulnerable individuals like children and the elderly.

What are the tests done for diagnosing lung conditions? 

  • Diagnostic tests for lung conditions may include:
    • Chest X-ray
    • CT scan or MRI
    • Pulmonary function tests (spirometry)
    • Arterial blood gas analysis
    • Bronchoscopy
    • Thoracentesis (removal of fluid from the chest cavity)
    • Biopsy (tissue sample analysis)

How is sleep apnea diagnosed and treated? 

Sleep apnea is diagnosed through sleep studies, such as polysomnography, that monitor a patient’s breathing and other vital signs during sleep. Treatment may involve continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or lifestyle changes to improve sleep patterns.

What does a pulmonologist treat? 

Pulmonologists are medical specialists who diagnose and treat disorders of the respiratory system, including:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Pneumonia
  • Interstitial lung diseases
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Lung cancer
  • Sleep disorders (sleep apnea)
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Bronchitis

At what age are your lungs fully developed?

Lungs typically reach full maturity by the age of 25. Before this age, lung growth and development continue, and young individuals may experience changes in lung function during this period.

When should you see a pulmonologist? 

You should consider seeing a pulmonologist if you experience:

  • Persistent cough or shortness of breath
  • Recurrent respiratory infections
  • Wheezing or noisy breathing
  • Chest pain related to breathing
  • Suspected lung or respiratory disorders

Can smoking cause other respiratory problems besides lung cancer? 

Yes, smoking is a significant risk factor for various respiratory problems, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema (COPD), and exacerbation of asthma symptoms. It can also lead to respiratory infections and worsen existing lung conditions.


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Treatments and Procedures

The Rela Department of Pulmonology offers a broad range of treatments and procedures to the people of Chennai. The doctors and other health care professionals of our organization have a shared commitment to patient-centred care utilizing the latest advances in medical knowledge and technology. This combination of leading-edge medicine and deep compassion for the people we serve has been a hallmark of the department and is one reason why we are on the list of top pulmonology hospitals as well as having the best respiratory medicine specialists in Chennai. We offer treatments for:

  • Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema.
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Asbestosis
  • Byssinosis (brown lung disease)
  • Farmer’s lung.
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
  • Pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Silicosis


Best Pulmonologists in Chennai

Dr. Benhur Joel Shadrach

Dr. Benhur Joel Shadrach

MD, DNB, (Pulmonary Medicine)
DM (Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine),
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Jodhpur
MIAB, MNAMS, EDARM (Switzerland)

Pulmonary Medicine

Clinical Consultant & Interventional Pulmonologist, Pulmonary Critical Care & Sleep Medicine

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Dr. Suresh Anantharaj

Dr. Suresh Anantharaj

MBBS, DTCD (Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases), DNB (Respiratory Diseases), FRCP (Glasgow)

Pulmonary Medicine

Senior Consultant – Pulmonology, Interventional Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine

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Pulmonary problems refer to medical conditions that affect the respiratory system, including the lungs and airways. These problems can range from acute infections like pneumonia to chronic conditions such as asthma or COPD.

The primary cause of lung cancer is tobacco smoking, including cigarettes, cigars, and exposure to secondhand smoke. Other risk factors include exposure to environmental pollutants, radon gas, asbestos, and a family history of lung cancer.

The final stage of pulmonary disease often refers to end-stage lung disease, where the lungs’ function is severely impaired. In these cases, patients may require continuous oxygen therapy and have significant difficulty breathing even at rest

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a lung disease that currently has no cure. It is a progressive condition where lung tissue becomes scarred, leading to breathing difficulties and reduced lung function over time.

Lungs have some ability to repair minor damage caused by infections or irritants. However, extensive damage from conditions like chronic smoking or advanced lung diseases may not be fully reversible.

The normal lung capacity varies depending on factors like age, sex, and body size. On average, the total lung capacity of an adult ranges between 4 to 6 liters

Regular exercise can improve lung function and increase lung capacity over time. Aerobic activities like running, swimming, or cycling can strengthen respiratory muscles and improve overall lung efficiency.

Yes, pneumonia can be contagious, especially when caused by infectious agents like bacteria or viruses. It is essential to take precautions, such as frequent handwashing, covering the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, to prevent the spread of pneumonia

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot (usually from the leg) travels to the lungs and blocks one of the pulmonary arteries. This can lead to severe breathing difficulties and, in some cases, be life-threatening.

The primary risk factor for developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is smoking. Exposure to secondhand smoke, occupational dust and chemicals, and genetic factors can also increase the risk of COPD.


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