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If you have a chronic cough, difficulty breathing or another persistent lung problem, it’s important to get the answers you need to take charge of your health.

At Gateway Regional Medical Center, our skilled pulmonologists are here to help. We specialize in bronchoscopy, a relatively quick and painless procedure to examine your lungs for any abnormalities. It can also be used to take tissue (biopsy) for testing, remove obstructions in your airways and even treat certain conditions.

About the Procedure

During bronchoscopy, a numbing spray is applied to your nose and throat, and you may also receive a sedative to help keep you relaxed. Your doctor then gently guides a thin tube (bronchoscope) with a light and tiny camera through your nose or mouth and down into your airways, while images are displayed on a nearby monitor.

This procedure is used to help find the cause of a wide range of lung problems, including:

  • Bleeding
  • Blockages
  • Infection
  • Excess mucus or swelling
  • Lung disease
  • Tumors

Bronchoscopy is most commonly performed using a flexible bronchoscope. If there is bleeding in the lungs or a large object is stuck in your airway, a rigid bronchoscope may be needed.

It also can allow your doctor to take samples of tissue or fluid using special devices, as well as to insert small tubes (stents) to keep your airway open to treat some lung problems.

The entire process usually takes 20–30 minutes, though times can vary depending on your specific condition. Our dedicated team will closely monitor you throughout to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible.

Recovery & Follow-Up Care

Bronchoscopy is considered safe with a low risk of complications. We usually perform the procedure on an outpatient basis, so you can go home the same day and recover comfortably at home.

Immediately following the procedure, you’ll rest at the hospital for a couple hours until the sedation wears off. A friend or family member will need to drive you home.

Your doctor will discuss the results with you within a couple days, though it may take longer if your doctor collects tissue to send to the lab.

Depending on the findings, we’ll work with you to arrange any follow-up testing and create a personalized treatment plan to help you get back to good health.

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