Your doctor may perform a bronchoscopy to look for and diagnose problems inside your lungs.
Your nose and mouth are points of entry for air to move in and out of your lungs through your trachea, or windpipe, and bronchial tubes.
With each breath, your lungs inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
This exchange of gases is the way your body gets oxygen into your blood.
A bronchoscopy may be done to: look for, and possibly retrieve, a foreign object that might have been inhaled instead of swallowed.
investigate a persistent cough, or a cough producing blood, obtain a mucus, tissue, or liquid sample from inside your lungs,
or evaluate an abnormal chest x-ray or CT scan.
Before your procedure, you will receive medication to help you relax and minimize coughing.
An intravenous line will be inserted for additional medications.
Your heart and blood pressure will be monitored, and you will be given extra oxygen during the procedure.
You will be given either a local anesthetic to numb your throat, or general anesthesia.
During the procedure, your doctor will slowly thread a bronchoscope through your nose or mouth, down your throat,
past your vocal cords, through your trachea and into your bronchial tubes.
He or she will carefully examine the lining of your airways, and may take samples for laboratory examination, or remove a foreign object.
After the procedure, you will be taken to a recovery area.
If a biopsy has been taken, you will likely have a chest x-ray before you leave the hospital.
Your doctor will send any mucus, liquid, or biopsy samples removed from your lungs to a laboratory for examination,
the results of which should be available within a week.