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A bronchoscopy is a procedure to look for any problems inside your airways (bronchi) using an endoscope (a long, thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end).

Why you might need it

Your consultant may want to look at your airways if they think there may be a problem or you may need a bronchoscopy to investigate/diagnose various conditions.

Your Consultant

You will have a consultation with an ENT consultant, during which you can discuss your symptoms and any questions or concerns that you may have. Your consultant will also discuss with you, any other diagnostic tests you may require, for example, blood tests or scans.

The Procedure

The procedure generally takes approximately 15 minutes and will begin with spraying a local anaesthetic on the back of your throat and inside of your nose, so that these areas will be numb throughout the procedure. If you require it to relax, your doctor may also offer you a sedative.

The flexible endoscope will then be passed through your nose and guided down the back of your throat and into your lungs to examine your airways. Sometimes they will pass the bronchoscope through your mouth instead of your nose. During this process, doctors can see the inside of the airways including the windpipe and voice box, on a monitor.

Your doctor may also take a biopsy of any areas that appear abnormal, by placing a small amount of fluid in your lungs and then removing it. This will be discussed beforehand at your consultation.


Following the procedure, you will be taken to a recovery room to recuperate until you are ready to go home, which will be the same day as your procedure.

Our dedicated team will still be there for you during each step of your recovery, even once you have left the hospital if you have any queries or concerns. Our consultants will usually book a follow-up appointment with you before you are discharged from hospital, to see how you are doing.

Whilst it is rare occurrence, surgery does carry a risk of complications. These depend on the type of operation you have as well as a variety of other factors such as your overall general health. During your consultation/s your consultant will discuss the possible risks and complications of having this procedure, and how they may apply to you, and answer any concerns or questions you have.

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