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What is a bronchoscopy?
A Bronchoscopy is a common procedure that allows a direct examination of the Respiratory tract and lungs. A small camera is introduced through the mouth down to the trachea (the tube that connects your nose and mouth to your lungs), and into your lungs. The procedure takes about 30 minutes. At OneWelbeck Lung Health, all Bronchoscopists are highly experienced consultant Respiratory Physicians.
What does a bronchoscopy involve?
Your Bronchoscopist will ask you to sit in the procedure couch with the back rest reclined and a mouthpiece will be placed between your teeth for the duration of the procedure. Before the procedure, you will be give medicine to relax you. A liquid medicine will also be given to numb your nose and throat. A small camera tube, known as the bronchoscope will be passed through your mouth or nose and into your lungs. A bronchoscope is an extremely thin flexible tube with a lighted camera on the end. A biopsy or tissue sample can be obtained by passing small forceps through the bronchoscope.
Some discomfort is not usual during a bronchoscopy, but the procedure shouldn’t be painful. Sedation and numbing of your nose and throat will alleviate the discomfort, however you may still feel some gagging sensation throughout the procedure.
Are there any risks?
A bronchoscopy is a common procedure, and serious risks are uncommon. The main risk associated with the procedure is a pneumothorax (or collapsed lung), which is a rare but serious side effect that can be treated.