Bronchoscopy: What Is It?

Bronchoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that helps your doctor looks inside your airways and lungs to detect any abnormality. This procedure also helps remove tissue samples for biopsy or insert a stent (tiny tube) into the airways.

Your doctor uses a flexible bronchoscope (thin, bendable tube with a light and tiny camera) at one end.

How To Prepare?

Your doctor will give general instructions like:

  • Don’t drink or eat anything after midnight before your bronchoscopy
  • Don’t take medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, or blood-thinning drugs before going to a bronchoscopy

During the procedure

  • Bronchoscopy typically takes 30 to 120 minutes 
  • Your doctor gives anesthesia to help you relax 
  • To numb your throat or mouth, the doctor uses the numbing spray 
  • Inserting a bronchoscope allows your doctor to check the lungs
  • Your doctor removes the bronchoscope and monitors you until you are fully awake  

After the procedure

  • You will be at the hospital until the sedation weans off
  • Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels 
  • You may not be able to eat or drink anything until an hour or two due to throat numbness
  • Your throat me be sore for a couple of days, and your voice could be hoarse, which is normal and sets back on its own

You must contact your doctor if you experience any of the below symptoms, which can indicate an infection, collapsed lung, or other problem:

  • Chest pain
  • Persistent fever
  • Signs of pneumonia (wheezing, difficulty breathing)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent cough or coughing up blood