Bronchoscopy

Bronchoscopy is a procedure for direct visualization of the tracheobronchial tree. Trachea has 16-20 tracheal rings and bronchial tree is divided mainly into right and left main bronchus. Bronchoscopy can be performed as a diagnostic or a therapeutic procedure. It can be done for visualization of tracheobronchial tree in cases of suspected foreign body, malignancy, vocal cord palsy and sputum cytology for tuberculosis and malignancy. Therapeutic uses include removal of foreign body, aspiration of inspissated secretions and biopsy in suspected malignancies.

Bronchoscopy is done either by a rigid metallic bronchoscope or a flexible fibreoptic scope or a telebronchoscope with visualisation on monitor with the help of endoscopic camera. Fibreoptic or telebronchoscope will give you an enhanced picture of the bronchus which can be documented.

If the patient is cooperative, flexible bronchoscopy can be done in local anaesthesia. But a rigid bronchoscopy or a telebronchoscopy requires general anaesthesia.

Complications encountered during the procedure include damage to lips, teeth, tongue or vocal cords, dislocation of cervical vertebra and rarely tracheal or bronchial tear, cardiac or respiratory arrest. There can be difficulty in removing foreign body if there is difficulty in catching the foreign body, disintegration of foreign body or mucosal edema in long standing foreign body cases.

What is Bronchoscopy?

It is a procedure done to visualize the tracheobronchial tree.

How long does it take?

An uneventful bronchoscopy can take 15-20minutes

What is the duration of hospital stay?

2-3days

What postoperative care is required?

Nebulization with steroids and bronchodilators

Is it an emergency?

Yes, it can be an emergency procedure especially for suspected foreign body patients.