Bronchoscopy is an examination of the inside of the lung, including the trachea and bronchi. This procedure was traditionally performed with a patient sedated – however technological advances now permit performance of this procedure with a patient awake.
Bronchoscopy may be necessary for a number of reasons including:
Evaluation of noisy breathing
Evaluation of difficulty breathing
Panendoscopy, or evaluation of spread of head and neck cancer
Monitoring of prior airway surgeries
Bronchoscopy is performed with a patient awake. There is no IV placed, no oxygen used and no need for blood pressure or oxygen monitors.
Lidocaine is used to numb the throat. An endoscope is then passed through the nose, between the vocal folds and into the trachea or windpipe. Biopsies may be performed if necessary.