Navigational Bronchoscopy

A bronchoscopy is the visual examination of the air passages of the lungs. It is done with a tool called a bronchoscope. This tool is a long, thin tube with a camera at the tip. Special surgical tools can also be passed through the tube. The tools may take tissue samples or mark an area for treatment. A CT scan is used to create images to map the airways. The images are downloaded into a computer which helps navigate the bronchoscope into the smaller airways of the lungs.

  • 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 small amount of blood
    • Severe nausea or vomiting
    • Increased or unusual wheezing or stridor
    • 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

    A bronchoscopy is the visual examination of the air passages of the lungs. It is done with a tool called a bronchoscope. This tool is a long, thin tube with a camera at the tip. Special surgical tools can also be passed through the tube. The tools may take tissue samples or mark an area for treatment.


    A
    CT scan
    is used to create images to map the airways. The images are downloaded into a computer which helps navigate the bronchoscope into the smaller airways of the lungs.

    IMAGE
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Possible Complications

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

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

    Smoking may increase the risk of having these problems.

  • Reasons for Procedure

    A navigational bronchoscopy may be done to help diagnose or treat problems in small airways of the lungs. It is often done after an x-ray, MRI , or CT scan shows a suspicious spot. A navigational bronchoscopy may be done to:

    • Take a biopsy of lung tissue
    • Place markers for future treatment
    • Insert internal radiation therapy catheters into cancerous lung tissue

    This procedure may prevent an open surgery, which has greater risks and longer recovery time. It can help provide early diagnosis of lung cancer.

  • What to Expect