What is it?
Flexible bronchoscopy is a procedure performed to directly visualise airways and allow specimens to be obtained if required.
Why is it done?
A bronchoscopy is performed to investigate diseases of the lung, common reasons include:
- Abnormal chest x-rays
- Haemoptysis (coughing up of blood)
- Recurrent chest infections
- Chronic cough
- Tracheobronchomalacia (floppy airways)
- Or your physician may refer you for another reason
Abnormal chest x-ray
It can be used to treat:
- Inhaled foreign bodies
- Retained pulmonary secretions
- Alveolar proteinosis
Details of the procedure
- Initially you will be sedated through an intravenous drip
- After you are drowsy, a long, thin camera is passed into your airway through either your nose or mouth
- Your airways will be examined and samples taken if necessary
- A flexible bronchoscopy typically takes around 15-30 minutes
- During the procedure, you will continue to breathe by yourself and after about 2 hours you should be awake enough to return home
How do I prepare for a flexible bronchoscopy?
- Your doctor will inform you if you need to cease any medications before the procedure
- You should have nothing to eat or drink for 4 hours prior to the bronchoscopy
- As you will undergo sedation, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery for the remainder of the day