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A bronchoscopy is a visual examination of the airways using a narrow, flexible fiberscope inserted through the nose or mouth, or occasionally through a tracheostomy.

At SSM Health, our digestive health specialists provide a full range of outpatient gastrointestinal diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including bronchoscopy. Schedule an appointment today if you have questions or concerns about your digestive health.

About the Procedure

The bronchoscope is a flexible fiber optic camera connected to a video processor and light source. The light source illuminates the end of the scope allowing your pulmonologist to visualize the airway (through the trachea into the bronchi of the lung). The video processor allows the picture to be displayed on a monitor screen. Your physician may insert the scope through the nose or mouth.

When is a Bronchoscopy Done?

A bronchoscopy can be done for diagnostic or therapeutic reasons, which may include:

  • To view abnormalities of the airway (abnormal chest x-ray or CT scan)
  • To obtain tissue specimens of the lung (abnormal chest x-ray or CT scan)
  • To evaluate and treat growths in the airway
  • To obtain tissue or mucous samples to diagnose lung disease
  • To evaluate bleeding in the lungs, possible lung cancer, a chronic cough, hoarseness or a collapsed lung
  • To remove secretions, blood or foreign objects lodged in the airway

By using special instruments, your physician can take biopsy specimens. This is a very safe exam, and complications from fiber optic bronchoscopy remain extremely low.

What to Expect After the Exam

After your exam, your physician will explain the results of the exam and give final instructions before you leave. If any biopsies or cultures were done, the results of these will be called to you and sent to your primary physician within seven to 14 days after the exam.

Contact us today to find a provider, schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about your digestive health. At SSM Health, we will customize a treatment plan to ensure you get the care you deserve.

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