How is a Bronchoscopy Administered?
Before the procedure, doctors will administer a numbing agent to your mouth and throat. The purpose of this is to reduce any discomfort you might experience as the tube passes by. You may also receive gels that inhibit your gag reflex, again making the procedure more comfortable.
During the procedure, the doctor will insert a tube via the mouth or nose and then pass it down past the vocal cords into the lungs. Most procedures use a flexible tube that conforms to the shape of their body. However, if there is an object obstructing your airways, the doctor may use a rigid bronchoscope instead.
At the same time, doctors may administer oxygen, either through a nasal tube or face mask. They will then connect your monitoring equipment to track your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. The procedure can feel a little strange, but it doesn’t hurt.
Bronchoscopes have a camera and light on the end of them. These provide a video feed that appears on the doctor’s monitor. The doctor uses this output to look for possible signs of disease in real-time. They may also review recordings of their examinations later.
In some cases, doctors need to take tissue samples by passing a collecting device through the bronchoscope. For instance, if the doctor suspects cancer, they combine bronchoscopy with a biopsy.