Bronchoscopy is a test done to diagnose lung diseases such as cancer of lungs, pneumonia etc. by obtaining a sample of deep lung mucous or lung tissue. The test is done using a long tube-like instrument known as bronchoscope fixed with a video camera and biopsy instruments at one end.
Care before the procedure
It is better to take a one day fast before the test to avoid vomiting during the test. Inform your doctor before hand if you are taking insulin or other medicines that affect blood clotting. It is recommended to have a blood test done before the procedure to make sure you are not at high risk for bleeding complications.
A bronchoscope is entered through your mouth, directly into the airways of your lungs. The camera at the end of the bronchoscope helps to view the lungs in a TV screen outside. If needed, a sample of mucous inside the lungs can be taken by controlling a miniature vacuum at the end of the camera and a biopsy sample of the lung tissue using a needle which is moved through the camera. The test usually takes 30 minutes to 1 hour. At the end of the test the bronchoscope is pulled out carefully.
This test help the doctor to identify problems causing inflammation and bleeding and also see any wound and foreign objects present.
Nausea or chocking sensation may be felt while lowering the bronchoscope down the throat. Taking a biopsy sample of the lung tissue can cause bleeding in the lung or the formation of an air leak. Vomiting during the procedure may cause aspiration pneumonia. While removing the bronchoscope you may get a cough attack and have a sore throat for a day or two after bronchoscopy.
Questions & Answers
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