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The bronchoscope is a long, thin tube. It will be inserted through the nose or mouth. The scope will be passed down the throat and into the lungs.
The scope sends an image of the lung tissue to a TV monitor. The doctor may use the images and the scope to remove a small tissue sample. If a foreign body is present, the doctor may be able to remove it through the scope. If a lavage is planned, a water solution may be used to wash an area. The solution is then removed and sent to a lab for examination.
Anesthesia prevents pain and coughing during the procedure. You may feel a tugging sensation when the doctor removes a tissue sample. You may also experience some breathing difficulty or shortness of breath during the procedure.
Expect some soreness in your throat and hoarseness for a few days after the procedure. Any discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
You may have an x-ray before you go home. This is to make sure there are no lung complications, such as bleeding or a pneumothorax. A pneumothorax can lead to a collapsed lung.
Once the numbness in your throat wears off, you may be given sips of water. You may gradually progress to solid food as tolerated.
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Spit out saliva. Do not try to swallow it while your throat muscles are numb.
If you had a biopsy, do not cough or clear your throat.
Do not drive until the sedative has completely worn off and you are fully awake.
If you had to stop medications before the procedure, ask your doctor when you can start again.
Be sure to follow your doctor's
The doctor may give you a report after the sedative wears off and you are alert. It may take a few days to receive results from a biopsy. It may take up to six weeks for findings from a tuberculosis test. Ask your doctor when to expect your results.
Explore bronchoscopy. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated February 8, 2012. Accessed September 11, 2013.
Fiberoptic bronchoscopy. American Thoracic Society website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed September 11, 2013.
Lung cancer screening. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated August 29, 2013. Accessed September 11, 2013.
Needle biopsy of the lung. Radiological Society of America Radiology Info website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated August 5, 2013. Accessed September 11, 2013.
6/2/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
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Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.