How To Prepare
You will be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have
regarding the need for the procedure, its risks, how it will be done, or what
the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this procedure,
fill out the
medical procedure information form(What is a PDF document?).
Before you have a
bronchoscopy, tell your doctor if you:
- Are taking any medicines.
allergic to any medicines, including
- Have had bleeding problems or
take blood-thinners, such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), or warfarin
- Are or might be pregnant.
Your doctor will tell you how soon before the biopsy to stop eating and drinking. Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking, or your test may be canceled. If your doctor has instructed you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, please do so using only a sip of water.
Your doctor may order other tests before your bronchoscopy,
such as a
complete blood count (CBC), clotting factors,
arterial blood gas (ABG), or
lung function tests.
Arrange to have
someone drive you home after the procedure.
How It Is Done
You may be asked to remove dentures,
eyeglasses or contact lenses, hearing aids, wigs, makeup, and jewelry before
the bronchoscopy procedure. You will empty your bladder before the procedure.
You will need to take off all or most of your clothes (you may be allowed to
keep on your underwear if it does not interfere with the procedure). You will
be given a cloth or paper covering to use during the procedure.
The procedure is done by a
pulmonologist and an assistant. Your heart rate, blood
pressure, and oxygen level will be checked during the procedure.
A chest X-ray may be done before and after the bronchoscopy.
During this procedure, you
will lie on your back on a table with your shoulders and neck supported by a
pillow, or you will recline in a chair that resembles a dentist's chair.
Sometimes the procedure is done while you are sitting upright.
will be given a
sedative to help you relax. You may have an
intravenous line (IV) placed in a vein. You will
remain awake but sleepy during the procedure.
procedure, your doctor usually sprays a
local anesthetic into your nose and mouth. This numbs
your throat and reduces your gag reflex during the procedure. If the
bronchoscope is to be inserted through your nose, your doctor may also place an
anesthetic ointment in your nose to numb your nasal passages.
doctor gently and slowly inserts the thin bronchoscope through your mouth (or
nose) and advances it to the vocal cords. Then more anesthetic is sprayed
through the bronchoscope to numb the vocal cords. You may be asked to take a
deep breath so the scope can pass your vocal cords. It is important to avoid
trying to talk while the bronchoscope is in your airway.