What is Bronchoscopy

Bronchoscopy is used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. It is a technique to investigate the patient’s airways by means of a flexible telescope. It gives the doctor a clear view of the patient’s airways or lungs and allows taking samples from the lung when testing for certain diseases.

During the procedure the doctor may find foreign bodies, bleeding, inflammation or tumors whilst looking through the patient’s lungs or airways. The Bronchoscopy not only allows the doctor to examine the patient’s air passages but also treating small problems such as removing a growth in airway.

There are two types of bronchoscopes, flexible fiber optic and rigid.  Flexible bronchoscopes have been more frequently used as they are easier to manual and are safer than rigid. The flexible bronchoscope is a tube with several channels. One channel sends light into the lung, another is connected to a camera to see inside the lung. There is also a channel to put local anaesthetic into and for taking samples.

Rigid bronchoscopes are very similar to flexible but they are hard, long and made out of metal which makes them more complicated to use.

The Procedure

Patient will be lying on their back with oxygen supplemented through the mouth or the nose. Prior to the insertion of the bronchoscope, an anesthesia will be given to the patient.

The bronchoscope will be carefully inserted through the nose or mouth, moved down the throat into the airways, which then would provide the doctor sight of the patient’s airways or lungs.

If a specific area needs to be more thoroughly evaluated or an abnormality is detected during the procedure, samples can be collected through the bronchoscope for examination in the laboratory.

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