Bronchoscopy, Diagnostic

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.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • Coughing up more than a teaspoon of blood
    • Severe nausea or vomiting
    • Increased or unusual stridor, which is a noisy sound that is heard when breathing
    • Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    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.

    Respiratory Pathway
    Resp pathway with sinus
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  • What to Expect

    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.

  • Reasons for Procedure

    Bronchoscopy is most often done for the following reasons:

    • Diagnose a lung disease or infection
    • Examine obstructions and secretions

    • Obtain a tissue sample, called a
      biopsy
    • Obtain a secretion sample
    • Investigate the source of a persistent cough or blood that is being coughed up
    • Check for a foreign object that may have accidentally been inhaled rather than swallowed

  • Possible Complications

    Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

    • Reaction to anesthesia
    • Bleeding
    • Collapsed lung
    • Irregular heart rate
    • Infection
    • Sore and swollen throat

    Smoking
    increases the risk of complications.