What is a Bronchoscopy Procedure?A bronchoscopy procedure is a simple outpatient exam that can be helpful in uncovering any potential air passage issues that may not appear in X-rays. A bronchoscopy procedure visually examines your air passages (including your throat, vocal cords, windpipe and lungs) using a long flexible tube with a small camera at the end. During the procedure, a video monitor in the exam room shows the images captured on camera. The physician watches the monitor and may also remove tissue samples (biopsies) or drain fluid.
Why Its DoneA bronchoscopy procedure is a preventive measure to help detect potential issues at an early stage, even before you may experience any symptoms. It is also helpful in allowing your physician to diagnose the cause of certain symptoms you may already be experiencing, such as:
• Abnormal chest X-ray or CT scan findings
• Coughing up blood or unexplained cough
• Chest pain
What to Expect
To allow for a thorough exam, your stomach should be completely empty. This means that you cannot have anything to eat or drink after midnight the evening before the procedure.
During the procedure, you may feel the need to cough, which is normal and temporary. Complications following the procedure are rare, but if they occur, they may include bleeding, hoarseness or a slight fever. You should not drive or operate machinery for the remainder of the exam day.
Your physician will be able to provide you with additional information before your exam day.
Other Types of Exams
Other types of exams include X-rays CAT scans and MRI. Your physician will discuss which type of exam is best for you.