A bronchoscopy is a diagnostic procedure in which a specialist
(like a pulmonologist), who is trained in doing the procedure, uses
a special flexible scope to look at the trachea (windpipe), the vocal
cords and then the lungs. While in the lungs, special samples can be
taken to aid in diagnosis of many different lung problems.
How is the test performed?
IV sedation is used to make the patient comfortable and
relaxed so that the test is more easily done. The back of the throat
is also numbed with a spray anesthetic, after which a flexible scope
is passed through the nose into the trachea, past the vocal cords and
into the lungs. Once in the lungs, sample(s) can be taken of lung
secretions and tissue. These sample(s) are then sent to the lab and
can help diagnose many lung problems. After the test, if there are
no complications, you can go home once the anesthetic wears off.