Bronchoscopy

  • Medical Author:
    George Schiffman, MD, FCCP

    Dr. Schiffman received his B.S. degree with High Honors in biology from Hobart College in 1976. He then moved to Chicago where he studied biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He attended Rush Medical College where he received his M.D. degree in 1982 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Understanding COPD Slideshow Pictures

What can a patient expect after a bronchoscopy?

Patients are taken to an observation area for monitoring for one to two hours until any medication given adequately wears off and patients are able to swallow safely. A family member or a friend must take the patient home after the outpatient procedure. Patients are not allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery for the rest of the day because their reflexes and judgment may be impaired. Some patients may cough up dark-brown blood for the next one to two days after the procedure. This is expected and should not be alarming. However, if there is persistent bright red blood in the sputum, the doctor must be consulted immediately. A follow-up visit with the doctor is scheduled to review the laboratory results, which are typically available within one week.

What's new in bronchoscopy?

The bronchoscope is now being used with lasers to help remove and destroy tumor in the lungs. Sometimes, probes can be passed through the scope to freeze bleeding sites or to shrink tumors. Some newer technologies are on the horizon and may play a future role in the management of asthma and emphysema. There is data to suggest that warming the linings of the airways can reduce asthma attacks. Studies are also now underway investigating one-way valves placed in the upper lobe airways in patients with emphysema. The hope is that this investigational therapy will simulate the benefits seen in emphysema patients that receive lung volume reduction surgery.

Medically reviewed by James E Gerace, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Pulmonary Disease

REFERENCES:

"What is bronchoscopy"
National Institutes of Health; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/14/2015

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