Flexible Bronchoscopy

Bronchoscopy is a procedure for diagnosing problems in the lungs. It allows your caregiver to examine the passageways in the lungs by direct exam. This is accomplished by the use of a flexible telescope-like tool (flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope), which is passed down to the air passageways to be examined.


  • Allergies to food or medicine.

  • Medicines taken, including vitamins, herbs, eyedrops, over-the-counter medicines, and creams.

  • Use of steroids (by mouth or creams).

  • Previous problems with anesthetics or numbing medicines.

  • History of bleeding problems or blood clots.

  • Previous surgery.

  • Other health problems, including diabetes and kidney problems.

  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.


  • Do not eat or drink anything 8 hours before the test.

  • Medications may be given to relax you, dry up your secretions, and to control coughing. The medication which dries up secretions will make your mouth very dry.

  • Local anesthetics (medications) are given to numb your mouth, nose, throat and voice box (larynx).


  • Relax as much as possible during the procedure.

  • Follow the caregiver's instructions to speed up the procedure.

  • Your breathing is not blocked (obstructed) during this procedure. You will be able to breath normally during the procedure.

  • If tissue samples (biopsies) are needed in the outer portions of the lung, sometimes a special type of X-ray (fluoroscopy) is required.

  • Abnormal areas will be brushed or biopsied for exam under a microscope.

  • If any bleeding occurs from these areas, a drug may be used to make the blood vessels smaller (constrict) to stop or decrease the bleeding.

  • You may receive a chest X-ray following the procedure to make sure the lungs have not collapsed (pneumothorax).


  • You may resume normal activities.

  • Call the caregiver or return for an appointment as directed if biopsies were taken.

  • Do not eat or drink anything until cough and gag reflexes have returned. There is danger of burning yourself or getting food or water into your lungs when your mouth and airways are numb. After the numbness is gone, you may begin taking a normal diet.


  • You become lightheaded.

  • You get short of breath.

  • You become faint.

  • You develop chest pain.

  • You cough up blood.