Bronchoscopy: Before Your Child's Procedure

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What is bronchoscopy?

Bronchoscopy (say "bron-KOSS-koh-pee") is a type of procedure. The doctor uses a flexible tube to look at your child's airway. This tube is called a bronchoscope. It lets your doctor see your child's 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 child's 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.

The doctor will put the bronchoscope into your child's mouth or nose and down the throat. This may seem scary. But your child will get medicine or anesthesia before the procedure. He or she will be relaxed or asleep.

Most people go home the same day. Your child will probably be back to a normal routine in 1 or 2 days. Depending on the reason for the procedure, your child's recovery could take longer. Your doctor will give you more information after the procedure.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call the doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

What happens before the procedure?

Procedures can be stressful both for your child and for you. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your child's procedure.

Preparing for the procedure

  • Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • Tell the doctors ALL the medicines and natural health products your child takes. Some of these can increase the risk of bleeding or interact with anesthesia. Your doctor will tell you which medicines your child should take or stop before the procedure.
  • Talk to your child about the procedure. Hospitals know how to take care of children. The staff will do all they can to make it easier for your child.
  • Ask if a special tour of the hospital is available. This may make your child feel less nervous about what happens.
  • Plan for your child's recovery time. He or she may need more of your time right after the procedure, both for care and for comfort.

What happens on the day of the procedure?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when your child should stop eating and drinking. If you don't, the procedure may be cancelled. If the doctor told you to have your child take his or her medicines on the day of the procedure, have your child take them with only a sip of water.
  • Have your child take a bath or shower before you come in. Do not apply lotion or deodorant.
  • Your child may brush his or her teeth. But tell your child not to swallow any toothpaste or water.
  • Do not let your child wear contact lenses. Bring your child's glasses or contact lens case.
  • Be sure your child has something that reminds him or her of home. A special stuffed animal, toy, or blanket may be comforting. For an older child, it might be a book or music.

At the hospital or surgery centre

  • A parent or legal guardian must accompany your child.
  • Your child will be kept comfortable and safe by the anesthesia provider. The anesthesia may make your child sleep. Or it may just numb the area being worked on.
  • The procedure will take about 30 to 60 minutes.
  • After the procedure, your child will be taken to the recovery room. As your child wakes up, the recovery room staff will monitor his or her condition.

Going home

  • When you leave the hospital, you will get more information about how to take care of your child at home.
  • The doctor or nurse will tell you when your child can start normal activities again.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare your child for the procedure.
  • Your child becomes ill before the procedure (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about your child having the procedure.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: May 23, 2016