Bronchoscopy is a procedure used to look inside the lung airways. It is done to determine presence or absence of lung disease, also to help evaluate the effectiveness of current therapy. Bronchoscopy is performed usually under local anaesthesia with conscious sedation, rarely under general anaesthesia only if required. It involves inserting a bronchoscope tube, with its light and small camera, through the nose or mouth, down the throat into the trachea, or windpipe, and to the bronchi and bronchioles of the lungs.
It can be useful to detect tumours, signs of infection, excess mucus in the airways, bleeding, or blockages in the lungs. The procedure may involve lavage of the airways, biopsy from the lungs and transbronchial or transbronchial needle aspiration from the suspicious pathology. This procedure is also used to, insert airway stents, or small tubes, to keep your airway open to treat some lung problems.After the procedure, patient is monitored. Patient may experience a sore throat, cough, or hoarseness which resolves eventually. If the procedure is done on OPD basis, patient is likely will be able to go home after few hours.
Bronchoscopy is a safe procedure however; there could be a small risk of fever, minor bleeding, or pneumonia. Collapsed lung or pneumothorax is a rare but serious side effect that can be treated. The mortality rate associated with bronchoscopy is < 0.01%.