Bronchoscopy is the visual examination of the air passages leading into the lungs. The exam is done with a bronchoscope, a long, thin tube with a camera on the tip. The tube may be flexible or rigid, depending on why it is being done.
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.
Leading up to your procedure:
Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure.
The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight unless otherwise instructed.
Local anesthetic will be given to numb the throat and you will have sedation. These will also help to prevent coughing and gagging. Sometimes, a bronchoscopy is done under general anesthesia. In this case, you will be asleep.
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 monitor. The images and the scope may be used to remove a small tissue sample. If a foreign body is present, it may be removed 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 during the procedure. You may feel a tugging sensation when the doctor removes a tissue sample. You may also have 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.
Encourage you to sip water. You will gradually progress to solid foods.
When you return home, be sure to follow your doctor's
instructions. If you had to stop medications before the procedure, ask your doctor when you can start again.
You may be given 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 6 weeks for findings from a tuberculosis test. Ask your doctor when to expect your results.
Bronchoscopy. Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed August 29, 2017.
Bronchoscopy. Merck Manual website, Professional Edition. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated October 2016. Accessed August 29, 2017.
Explore bronchoscopy. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated December 9, 2016. Accessed August 29, 2017.
Airway Endoscopy in Children. American Thoracic Society website. Available at:
https://www.thoracic.org/statements/resources/pldd/pediatric-bronch-ts.pdf. Published May 1 2015. Accessed August 29, 2017.