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Call the Pulmonary Clinic at 210-358-3555.

What Is a Bronchoscopy? 

A bronchoscopy is a procedure used to view your lungs. A flexible tube about the size of a pen is inserted into your nose and advanced into your lungs.

What Will the Procedure Show?

It can help find the source of unexplained shortness of breath, coughing up blood, diagnosis of lung mass, and unexplained pneumonias. It is also done to obtain lung biopsies, and treat certain lung diseases.

Before the Test

  • Consult your physicians about any blood thinners you are taking (i.e. Plavix, Coumadin)
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your test.
  • If you have high blood pressure, please take your medication the morning of your test with a small sip of water.
  • Bring an adult with you, or have someone drive you home, or we will not be able to do the exam.

What Happens During the Bronchoscopy?

You will have to change into a hospital gown.

You will be told about the test and be asked to sign a consent form. Feel free to ask questions.

The nurse will start an IV in your arm. You will be given a medication through the IV so that you feel minimal discomfort during the test. Other medications may also be ordered by the doctor to be given through the IV or an injection into the muscle.

You will then be taken to the procedure room and will be asked to lie on a table.

Throat sprays and gargles will be given to you to make your throat feel numb. Your nose will also be sprayed with two different kinds of medicine.

During the procedure, your eyes will be covered with goggles to protect them from being splashed with fluid or medication. Wires will also be placed on your chest to monitor your heart, and a monitor on your finger to measure the oxygen in your blood.

How Long Will the Test Take?

The bronchoscopy will take between 60 and 90 minutes. Because you will be given a medication to make you sleepy, you will go to the recovery room. You will wake up in the recovery room.

  • You will leave the recovery room once you are awake and alert. (approx. 4-6 hours)
  • You will have oxygen until you are fully awake.
  • The nurse will monitor your oxygen and blood pressure frequently.
  • You may cough up a little blood or have a sore throat; this is normal.