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BronchoscopyBronchoscopy is a procedure which aids in diagnosing some conditions of the lungs and bronchi. In this procedure a doctor observes your airway through a thin viewing instrument called bronchoscope. Bronchoscope is a cylindrical device. There are two types of bronchoscope: rigid bronchoscope, which is rarely used, and fibreoptic bronchoscope. Fibreoptic bronchoscope is more flexibile and used more often since it doesn’t require general anesthesia and allows a doctor to take biopsy. Fibreoptic bronchoscope has four passages: two for passing through light, one for passing through medical instruments or medications and one that allows a doctor to look inside airways.

Purpose of Bronchoscopy

During this procedure a doctor examines your throat, larynx, trachea and lower airways. Bronchoscopy is tipically used to:Identify airway problems such as chronic cough, bleeding and trouble breathingDiagnose and determine the extent of lung cancerStudy an inherited lung deformityTake tissue samples when other tests (X-ray or CT scan) indicate problems with the lung or lymph nodesDiagnose cancer, tuberculosis or any other lung disease by taking tissue or mucus samplesRemove objects from the lungs that are blocking airwaysEvaluate and treat growths in the airwayTreat cancer of the airway using radioactive materials (brachytherapy)Control bleedingEvaluate effectiveness of treatment for lung cancerThis procedure shouldn’t be done on people who are having unstable heart condition and those who are suffering from severe respiratory failure.

Complications of Bronchoschopy

Serious complications from a bronchoscopy are not very common and they are mostly done without any problem. If you have had bronchoscopy, you might feel tired and sleepy for several hours after the procedure due to sedative. Several days after bronchoscopy, your nose and throat may be a bit sore. You may also develop mild fever. In case you had a biopsy taken, you may cough up a little blood for a few days.

To relieve mentioned symptoms, you may take ibuprofen or acetaminophen. During a first week after bronchoscopy avoid any physical strain and return to your regular activities when you become ready.

Complications of the procedure include: allergic reaction to medication, collapsed lung (pneumothorax), spasms of the airways or larynx, fever, irregular heart rhythm and unremitting bleeding from the location of taken biopsy.

People who are affected by heart disease, pneumonia, uncontrolled asthma, severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or advanced neoplasia are more susceptible to complications of bronchoscopy.

After the procedure, you should seek urgent medical attention if you cough up large amounts of blood, experience pain or trouble breathing or develop high fever (above 101 degrees F).

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