Bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to examine the airways using a bronchoscope (a thin flexible tube with a video camera attached to its end).
The lungs can be affected by many disorders such as infections and cancer. This test has been recommended to assist your doctor in finding out the cause of your lung condition. Washings from lung segments, or a biopsy may be necessary. Common reasons for a Bronchoscopy are to evaluate infection, lung opacity on chest imaging, or haemoptysis (coughing out blood).
You have to fast for at least 4-6 hours before Bronchoscopy is performed. You will be given intravenous sedation and pain relief before the procedure. An anaesthetic gel and spray will also be applied to your nose and the back of your throat to numb the area so that you are less likely to gag when the bronchoscope is introduced. The Bronchoscope will be gently introduced either through your mouth or nose. It is then advanced slowly down the back of the throat through the vocal cords and into the airways. In some cases, it may be necessary to instil fluid into affected lung segments and collect the washings, or take a tissue sample (biopsy) for examination. The entire procedure usually takes between 15 – 45 minutes.