Bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to look at your airways through a thin viewing instrument known as a bronchoscope. During a bronchoscopy the doctor will examine your throat, larynx, trachea and lower airways.
Bronchoscopy may be done to diagnose problems with the airways, the lungs, or with the lymph nodes in the chest, or to treat problems such as an object or growth in the airway.
There are 2 types of Bronchoscopy:
Flexible Bronchoscopy: this type of bronchoscopy uses a long, thin, lighted tube to look at the airway. The flexible bronchoscope is used more often than the rigid bronchoscope because it usually does not require general anaesthesia, is more comfortable for the person, and offers a better view of the smaller airways. It also allows the doctor to remove small samples of tissue (biopsy).
Rigid Bronchoscopy: this is usually done with general anaesthesia and uses a straight, hollow metal tube. It is used-
Bronchoscopy procedure is done to:
A flexible bronchoscope is inserted with the patient in a sitting or supine position. Once the bronchoscope is inserted into the upper airway, the vocal cords are inspected. The instrument is advanced to the trachea and further down into the bronchial system and each area is inspected as the bronchoscope passes. If an abnormality is discovered, it may be sampled, using a brush, a needle, or forceps. Rigid bronchoscopy is performed under general anaesthesia. Rigid bronchoscopes are too large to allow parallel placement of other devices in the trachea, therefore the anaesthesia apparatus is connected to the bronchoscope and the patient is ventilated through the bronchoscope.