A bronchoscopy involves the use of a flexible fibreoptic (video) scope to examine the main airways of your lungs. The bronchoscope will be inserted into your lungs through your mouth, however you will be given sedatives and anesthetic so you will not feel a thing. A bronchoscopy allows your doctor to examine any abnormalities in your airways and collect specimens if required. The procedure usually takes 10-20 minutes.
No. When you arrive you will be given local anesthetic spray to your throat. This numbs the throat reducing any discomfort during the bronchoscopy. You may also be given a sedative injection, but will not be completely ‘sent to sleep’ as you might for a major operation.
A bronchoscopy can be performed for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. Common reasons to perform a bronchoscopy are to determine if you have inflammation, infection or abnormalities such as tumors or foreign bodies inside your lungs.
Therapeutic reasons for performing a bronchoscopy include removing fluid or mucus plugs, remove foreign objects, treat a cancer, wash out the airway or widen an airway that has been blocked or narrowed.
In more complex clinical situations, we can provide advanced procedural services such as:
NIL BY MOUTH 8 hours before the procedure – this means no food, fluid, water or smoking. If you are a diabetic check with your doctor, special precautions may need to be taken.
Check with you doctor about any medications you usually take and whether you should take these as normal before the procedure or not. Warfarin and Aspirin should be ceased 5 days prior to your procedure. Please discuss this with your doctor.
If you have any x-rays or scans, bring these with you.
Arrange for someone to pick you up after the procedure as it is advised that you don’t drive or catch public transport alone following sedation.
You will be sleepy for approximately 30 minutes after the procedure. You will be taken to the recovery area to rest until the effects of the sedation have worn off and your normal reflexes have returned. It is not uncommon to cough and bring up blood stained sputum afterwards. Occasionally patients develop a fever several hours after the procedure – this can be treated with paracetamol. If this does not settle down, please call your doctor’s office.