Bronchoscopy is a procedure aimed at directly visualising the airways inside the lungs with a thin, lighted tube. The tube is placed inside the mouth or the nose, moved down the throat and the trachea, and into the airways. A healthcare provider can visualise the trachea, larynx, bronchi, and the bronchioles. Bronchoscopes are of two types— rigid and flexible, both types are available in different widths.
Rigid bronchoscope is found in the form of a straight tube. It is only used for the visualisation of the large airways. It can be employed within the bronchi to:
A flexible bronchoscope is more commonly used. Unlike the rigid scope, it can be moved in the bronchioles or the smaller airways. Flexible bronchoscope is used to:
Bronchoscopy may be performed to detect and treat lung diseases like blockage of airways, tumours of bronchial cancer, interstitial pulmonary disease, infections and inflammations like pneumonia, and parasitic or fungal lung infections, causes of coughing up blood, coughing of persistent cough, vocal cord paralysis, and spots seen on chest X-rays.
Treatment and diagnostic procedures that are performed with bronchoscopy include collection of sputum, biopsy of tissue, introducing fluid into the lungs and remove those to diagnose pulmonological disorders, control of bleeding in the bronchi, removal of blood, secretions, mucus plug, or growths to clear airways, introducing a small tube to keep the airway open, radiation treatment or laser therapy for bronchial tumours, and draining an abscess or area of pus. We offer the best bronchoscopy services in Indore.
A flexible bronchoscope is used in most cases, not the rigid one as the flexible bronchoscope comes with a lower risk of tissue damage. It can also be handled better. It also provides better access to small areas of lung tissue. Some risks are involved in every procedure. The risks of bronchoscopy include infection, bleeding, irritation of the airways, holes in the airway, and irritation of the vocal cords, and air in the space between the covering of the lung that results in collapse of the lung.
Depending on your general health and other risk factors, your risk associated with bronchoscopy varies. Your healthcare provider will let you know about the risks that apply most to you. You must talk about any concerns you have with your healthcare provider. In some cases, a person will not be able to undergo a bronchoscopy. Following may be the reasons for this:
If you have severe shortness of breath or high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, you may require being on a breathing machine prior to the procedure. This is done so that oxygen can be directly sent into your lungs while the bronchoscope is in place.
You must provide your healthcare provider with a list of all the medications that you take. This includes over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, herbs, vitamins, and supplements. You might be required to stop some medicine prior to the procedure. You will also need to sign a written informed consent document, explaining the risks and benefits of the procedure.
If you are having the procedure as an outpatient, you will be able to go home on the same day. Sometimes, it is done as a part of a longer stay in the hospital. The way the procedure is performed may vary. It depends on the methods of your healthcare provider and your overall condition. In most cases, the following process is followed for a bronchoscopy:
You will be asked to change into a hospital gown. You may be directed to remove your jewellery and other accessories. You will be asked to sit on a procedure table with your head raised like a chair. An intravenous line may be introduced into your hand or arm. You will be asked to give antibiotics prior to and post the procedure.
You will be directed to stay awake during the procedure, but be given medicine to relax. You may also be given medicine to numb your throat and nose. If a rigid bronchoscope is used, general anaesthesia is given. It prevents pain and allows you to stay asleep during the procedure.
You may be given oxygen through a face mask or a nasal tube. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing will be watched during the procedure. The back of your throat will be sprayed with a numbing liquid with a bitter taste to it, so that gagging is prevented as the bronchoscope is passed down your throat. Once the tube is completely introduced into the throat, the gagging feeling will go away.
You won’t be able to swallow saliva or talk during the bronchoscopy. Saliva will be suctioned from your mouth as required. The bronchoscope will be moved down your throat by a healthcare provider so that it is passed down the airways. You may experience a mild pain but your airway won’t be blocked. You will be able to breathe around the bronchoscope and will be provided with extra oxygen if required.
As the bronchoscope is introduced, your lungs will be examined. Mucus or tissue samples may be taken for examination. Other procedures may be performed as required. This includes giving medications or stopping bleeding. When examination and other procedures are performed, the bronchoscope is removed.
After the bronchoscopy, you will be asked to spend some time in a recovery room. You may be confused and sleepy when you wake up from sedation or general anaesthesia. Your healthcare team will review your vital signs, including your breathing and heart rate.
Right after the procedure, a chest X-ray may be performed. This is to ensure your lungs are okay. You may be asked to cough up gently and spit your saliva into a basin so that a nurse can check your secretions for the presence of blood.
You may experience a mild discomfort in your throat. You won’t be allowed to drink or eat until your gag reflex has returned. You may experience some pain with swallowing and throat soreness for a few days, which is normal. Gargling and using throat lozenges may help with this. If your procedure has been performed on an outpatient basis, your doctor can go home when your doctor says it's ok.
You can return to your normal diet and activities if your healthcare provider instructs you to. You may be asked not to perform strenuous activities for a few days. You should call your healthcare provider if you have any of the following:
Some other instructions may also be given by your healthcare provider.
Before you agree to the procedure or the test, you should know:
The Department of Pulmonary Medicine at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore, offers comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic care for a diverse range of pulmonological diseases. Our services include endoscopic ultrasound, endo bronchial ultrasound, endobronchial brachytherapy, innovative therapeutic techniques, bronchial thermoplasty and surgical interventions like video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery and lung volume reduction. Consult the best pulmonologists in Indore here.
We follow an evidence-based approach during all our services to ensure excellent outcomes matching international standards. Apart from having a fully-equipped Bronchoscopy suite with C-arm facilities, we house a state-of-the-art PFT machine. Our focus is on ensuring the speedy recovery of the patient and helping him return to normal activities of daily life as soon as possible.