Baptist Health Paducah offers patient information on what to expect during a bronchoscopy.
The Purpose of Bronchoscopy
After careful medical examination, your doctor may recommend that you have a fiber-optic bronchoscopy. During this procedure, a flexible scope is passed through your nose or mouth to view the inside of your lungs. The procedure allows your doctor is able to examine your throat, vocal chords and lungs. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
About the Procedure
The preparation for this procedure may vary depending upon your doctor's orders. It is important that you do not eat or drink anything from the time specified by your doctor until after the exam has been completed. All dentures and eye wear must be removed prior to the procedure. Also, make sure you empty your bladder and move your bowels if necessary.
You will be asked to sign a consent form authorizing the doctor to perform the procedure. Please let the doctor or endoscopy nurse know if you are allergic to any medications. Bring a list of your medications with you. To help you relax, you may receive injections prior to the examination. The doctor may order a respiratory therapist to give a breathing treatment to numb your throat. An IV will be started in your arm prior to the procedure, so the doctor may administer medication to make you sleepy. You will be asked to gargle with a numbing solution. The doctor will spray your nose and throat to make them feel numb.
The doctor will insert the flexible scope through your nostril or mouth and into your lungs. Coughing is a normal reaction at this point. You will be able to breathe normally. A tiny bit of tissue may be taken for microscopic examination.
After Your Bronchoscopy
A nurse will check your blood pressure, pulse and respiration periodically after the procedure. Do not eat or drink anything until the nurse allows you to do so. If this is an outpatient procedure, you will remain in the department for at least one to four hours after the procedure is completed.
The doctor will discuss his or her findings with you, the endoscopy nurse and your family members. You will be given written instructions for home care upon your discharge.
Because you will receive sedation, it is very important that you arrange to have someone who can drive you home accompany you the day of the procedure. You must have a ride home or the procedure will not be done. Wait at least 24 hours after you have returned home to drive or operate any equipment, drink any alcoholic beverages, take any sleeping pills or sign any important documents. It is also advisable that you go home and nap following the procedure. You may want to eat when you get home.