What is a bronchoscopy?

Your physician does a bronchoscopy to examine the airways using a thin, flexible tube-like instrument fitted with a light and a camera. This camera allows him to view the airways, including the larynx, trachea, and the smaller airways of your lungs, the bronchi and bronchioles, on a monitor and identify any obstructions that may be causing breathing difficulties or to diagnose lung diseases.

Why is a bronchoscopy necessary?

Your pulmonologist may do a bronchoscopy to make an accurate diagnosis after having a clear look at the airways and respiratory tract. It may be used to find the cause for breathing difficulties such as a chronic cough, shortness of breath, infection, bleeding, or assess damage after inhalation of chemicals. A biopsy can be taken to test for cancerous cells and other lung diseases in cases where abnormal tissues are found. It may also be used as treatment as it can remove foreign objects, fluid and mucus plug in the airways, treat cancer, drain an abscess or widen a narrowed airway.

What can be expected during a bronchoscopy?

A bronchoscopy is usually done on an outpatient basis, and anaesthesia is rarely needed. You will be given a sedative to relax before your physician sprays a local anaesthetic spray down your nose and throat to numb the area. The bronchoscope is then inserted into your nose and passed down your nose into your throat. The bronchoscope is passed all the way down into the branches that lead into the lungs, known as the bronchi. The bronchoscope will allow Dr Mothilal to see the internal state of the airways. If a sample is needed, he may pass a nee or brush type tool through the channel in the bronchoscope for further testing.

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