Bronchoscopy: Before Your Procedure
What is bronchoscopy?
Bronchoscopy (say "bron-KOSS-koh-pee") is a type of procedure. Your doctor uses a flexible tube to look at your airway. This tube is called a bronchoscope. It lets your doctor see your throat, voice box (larynx), windpipe (trachea), and bronchial tubes.
There are many reasons to have this procedure. Your doctor may look for problems with your airway. Or he or she may remove an object or growth. Your doctor could also take a sample of tissue to study. This is called a biopsy.
You will probably be awake for the procedure. But you will get medicine so you will not have pain. The doctor puts the bronchoscope into your mouth or nose and down your throat.
Most people go home the same day. You will probably be able to go back to work or your normal routine in 1 or 2 days.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How do you prepare for the procedure?
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
Preparing for the procedure
Your doctor will tell you how soon before the procedure to stop eating and drinking. Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking, or your procedure may be cancelled.
Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your procedure. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your procedure. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
What happens on the day of the procedure?
Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your procedure may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of the procedure, take them with only a sip of water.
Take a bath or shower before you come in for your procedure. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.
At the hospital or surgery centre
Bring a picture ID.
You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. The anesthesia may make you sleep. Or it may just numb the area being worked on.
The procedure will take about 30 to 60 minutes.
You will be in recovery for 1 to 3 hours after the procedure.
When should you call your doctor?
- You have questions or concerns.
- You don't understand how to prepare for your procedure.
- You become ill before the procedure (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
- You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the procedure.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter K372 in the search box to learn more about "Bronchoscopy: Before Your Procedure".
Current as of: March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & David C. Stuesse MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery