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Bronchoscopy of the lungs - what is it? Indications and preparation for the analysis, complications

Bronchoscopy is a diagnostic procedure during which the doctor has the opportunity to assess the condition of the mucous membranes of the upper and lower respiratory tract using a special device equipped with a miniature camera at the end.

Varieties of procedure

Diagnostic examination of the respiratory tract is carried out by the following types of bronchoscopes:

  1. Flexible - the procedure can be carried out without the use of general anesthesia, during the study, if necessary, the doctor can cut a tissue sample for analysis (biopsy).
  2. Hard - the procedure is performed only under general anesthesia.
Bronchoscopy of the lungs - what is it?

The overall picture of bronchoscopy

Using a hard bronchoscope is advisable in the following situations:

  • Presence of pulmonary hemorrhage;
  • The need for an extensive biopsy (sampling tissue from different places);
  • The need to remove foreign objects from the respiratory tract;
  • Removal of polyps and other neoplasms in the airways with a laser beam.


Indications for bronchoscopy

The study is prescribed to patients with the following purpose:

  • Determining the causes of disorders in the organs of the respiratory system (for example, chronic cough, hemoptysis, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing);
  • The need for tissue sampling for further histological examination;
  • Suspected cancer of the respiratory tract;
  • Diagnosis of the presence and location of metastases in lung cancer;
  • Preparing the patient for the upcoming surgery on the respiratory system;
  • Cyst or lung abscess;
  • Frequently occurring pneumonia;
  • The need to remove small objects stuck in the airways;
  • Control pulmonary hemorrhage;
  • Diagnosis and elimination of causes provoking narrowing of the airways;
  • Treatment of cancer tumors in the respiratory tract with laser beams.

Preparation for bronchoscopy

Proper preparation of the patient for bronchoscopy provides informative research and reduces the risk of negative consequences after the procedure. Before the bronchoscopy, the patient must be prescribed the following procedures:

  1. Lung snapshot - this procedure indicates darkened or pathological foci that the physician should pay special attention to during bronchoscopy;
  2. Cardiogram - allows you to assess the correct operation of the heart muscle and eliminate the risk of complications from the cardiovascular system during the procedure;
  3. Blood tests - general and biochemical;
  4. Coagulogram - assessment of blood clotting.

Preparation for bronchoscopy In order to avoid complications during bronchoscopy of the trachea and bronchi, the patient must be told to the doctor if he takes any medication, is allergic, has a chronic illness or is pregnant (for women).

The night before, the patient was recommended a light dinner, and 8–9 hours before the examination, nothing should be eaten, drunk, smoked, or taken medication. Before bronchoscopy, the bladder and intestines should be emptied; if the patient is very nervous, then sedatives can be taken to calm the nervous system.

You must take a clean towel or handkerchief with you, as well as an inhaler if the patient suffers from bronchial asthma.

How do bronchoscopy?

How do bronchoscopy?

General form

Bronchoscopy of the lungs is done under the conditions of the endoscopic room, under the control of the video image, in compliance with the strict rules of asepsis and antisepsis. The doctor will help the patient to take a comfortable posture, usually in a sitting and reclining position.

Before the procedure, the patient is administered bronchodilators (Salbutamol or Eufillin) - drugs that help eliminate the spasm of the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract and the expansion of the bronchi.

During the procedure, a flexible bronchoscope is used to apply lidocaine to the patient's throat, which acts as a local anesthetic. As soon as Lidocaine begins to act, the patient may feel numbness of the palate and pharynx, difficulty swallowing, a lump in the throat or nasal congestion.

Bronchoscopy, photo

Bronchoscopy, photo

Using a hard bronchoscope requires general anesthesia. As a rule, this type of research is carried out in pediatric practice or among patients with pronounced fear and anxiety.

During the introduction of the bronchoscope, the patient is recommended to breathe often and superficially, otherwise an emetic reflex occurs that interferes with the procedure.

The device is inserted through the mouth or nose, the patient is asked to take a deep breath, during which the bronchoscope, bypassing the glottis, is sent to the bronchi. The doctor examines the larynx, trachea and bronchi.

If necessary, during the procedure, pinch tissue samples for further investigation, inject drugs or wash the bronchi from the accumulated abnormal mucus.

After performing all the necessary manipulations, the doctor carefully removes the bronchoscope. The total duration of the procedure is no more than 30-40 minutes, but after it the patient should remain under the supervision of medical staff for about 2-3 hours.

Feelings after analysis

After the study, the patient for 4-8 hours may complain of the following sensations:

  • Difficulty swallowing;
  • Foreign body sensation in the pharynx, lump;
  • Numbness in the throat;
  • Isolation of blood streaks with sputum when coughing, which is due to injury of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract by the bronchoscope;
  • Nasal congestion.

In order to avoid complications during a couple of hours after the procedure, the patient cannot eat, smoke, take medicine, drink alcohol and hot tea.


Despite the high information content of this study, not every patient can have bronchoscopy, the procedure has several contraindications:

  • Pregnancy in the second and third trimesters;
  • Acute attack of bronchial asthma;
  • Transferred myocardial infarction or stroke (in the last six months);
  • Aortic aneurysm;
  • Respiratory failure in severe form, accompanied by a narrowing of the lumen of the bronchi (obstruction);
  • Psychiatric disorders in the patient, acute mental disorders;
  • Tendency to epileptic seizures;
  • Impaired blood clotting function, predisposition to bleeding;
  • Individual intolerance to anesthetics or drugs used during bronchoscopy.

Possible complications

complications after bronchoscopy With proper preparation and compliance with all the rules for performing bronchoscopy, complications after the completion of the study are extremely rare.

The patient should be attentive to his condition after the procedure and immediately seek medical attention if the following symptoms are found:

  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Cyanosis of the skin;
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing;
  • Increased coughing of the blood;
  • Pain in the sternum;
  • If after bronchoscopy the temperature has risen.

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