Bronchoscopy Procedures

If you are having difficulties with your ability to breathe, then we may recommend that you undergo a bronchoscopy procedure. A bronchoscopy procedure can help to diagnose problems with your airway, your lungs or the lymph nodes in your chest. It can also be used to treat other issues, such as a growth or object that’s blocking airflow in the airway.

What is a Bronchoscopy Procedure?

During a bronchoscopy procedure, one of our doctors will use a bronchoscope, which is a thin viewing instrument, to look into your airway and examine your throat, trachea, larynx and lower airways. There are two basic types of bronchoscopy procedures – a flexible bronchoscopy and a rigid bronchoscopy.

  • Flexible Bronchoscopy – During a flexible bronchoscopy procedure, the doctor will insert a long and thin tube down your airway. It’s a lighted tube that is flexible, which means that you’ll be more comfortable during the procedure and won’t require general anesthesia. The doctor will also be able to remove small tissue samples during this process.
  • Rigid Bronchoscopy – The tool used during a rigid bronchoscopy is a straight and hollow tube made from metal, which means that it’s not flexible. Because of this, general anesthesia is typically needed. Rigid bronchoscopies are performed when bleeding in the airway is blocking the view of a flexible scope, or when large objects need to be removed from the airway or large samples of tissue need to be removed for biopsy.

Do You Need a Bronchoscopy?

Bronchoscopy procedures can be used to both diagnose and treat various issues. The following are some of the common issues you may have that we will treat using a bronchoscopy:

  • You’re having trouble breathing.
  • You’re dealing with a chronic cough.
  • You’re experiencing bleeding in your airways.
  • An X-ray or CT scan has revealed issues with the lung or chest lymph nodes, in which case tissue samples are needed.
  • There are objects blocking the airway.
  • There are growths in the airway.
  • Parts of your airway have narrowed and need to be treated.
  • You have cancer of the airway that needs to be treated.

Preparing for a Bronchoscopy

You’ll need to follow the specific instructions of your doctor. The doctor may require you to do the following:

  • Stop eating and drinking for a certain amount of time before the procedure.
  • Stop taking certain medications for a certain amount of time before the procedure.
  • Have a complete blood count, arterial blood gas, clotting factors or lung function test performed before the procedure.

It’s also important that you relate to your doctor any medications that you are on and any medications that you are allergic to, including anesthetics.

For more information about our bronchoscopy procedures, be sure to contact us at Brunswick Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine today.