Bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look at your airway through a thin viewing instrument called a bronchoscope. During bronchoscopy your doctor will examine your throat, trachea, larynx and lower airways.
Bronchoscopy may be done to diagnose problems with the airway, the lungs, or with the lymph nodes in the chest, or to treat problems such as an object or growth in the airway.
There are two types of bronchoscopy.
Flexible Bronchoscopy: Uses a long, thin, lighted tube to look at your airway. The flexible bronchoscope is used more often than the rigid bronchoscope because it usually does not require general anesthesia is more comfortable for the person, and offers a better view of the smaller airways. It also allows the doctor to remove small samples of tissue biopsy.
Rigid Bronchoscopy: Is usually done with general anesthesia and uses a straight, hollow metal tube. It is used:
- When there is bleeding in the airway that could block the flexible scope's view.
- To remove large tissue samples for biopsy.
- To clear the airway of objects (such as a piece of food) that cannot be removed using a flexible bronchoscope.