How It Is Done continued...
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.
machine (fluoroscope) may be placed above you to provide a picture that helps your doctor see
any devices, such as
forceps to collect a biopsy sample, that are being
moved into your lung. The bronchoscope is then moved down your larger breathing
tubes (bronchi) to examine the lower airways.
If your doctor
collects sputum or tissue samples for biopsy, a tiny biopsy tool or brush will
be used through the scope. A salt (saline) fluid may be used to wash your
airway, then the samples are collected and sent to the lab to be
Finally, small biopsy forceps may be used to remove a
sample of lung tissue. This is called a transbronchial biopsy.
This procedure is usually
general anesthesia. You will lie on your back on a
table with your shoulders and neck supported by a pillow.
be given a sedative to help you relax. You will have an
intravenous line (IV) placed in a vein. Once you are asleep, your head will be carefully
positioned with your neck extended. A tube
(endotracheal) will be placed in your windpipe (trachea) and a machine will
help you breathe. Your doctor then slowly and gently inserts
the bronchoscope through your mouth and into your windpipe.
your doctor collects sputum or tissue samples for biopsy, a tiny biopsy tool or
a brush will be inserted through the scope. A salt (saline) fluid may be used
to wash your airway, then the samples are collected and sent to the lab for