Doctors are able to learn an awful lot about your lungs by simply listing to them. Stethoscopes have long been one of the most crucial tools in a medical professional’s arsenal, and the main purpose of this tool is to enable them to listen to your lungs. This sort of test isn’t always enough to get to the bottom of a breathing problem, though. This is where bronchoscopies come in, providing doctors with the opportunity to take a deeper dive into your lungs.
Much like a pulmonary function test, a bronchoscopy procedure can be used to assess the state of your lungs and identify problems with them. While a bronchoscopy might be more invasive than other lung tests, it will also be able to provide far more detailed results, giving your doctor a true insight into the state of your breathing. This can be crucial when trying to diagnose subtle conditions.
Bronchoscopy procedures are designed to identify a range of different breathing problems. Lung cancer, infections, and COPD are just a few examples of the conditions that can be found using this method. A bronchoscopy will usually be performed after simpler tests have shown that there might be a problem, but can’t identify the cause.
At Cochise Oncology, bronchoscopy procedures are performed by our pulmonologist, Dr. Sasan Sazgar. Your bronchoscopy will involve having a thin tube known as a bronchoscope inserted into the air passages that go into your lungs. This scope will have a camera and a light on the end, giving your doctor a clear view of the inside of your lungs and air passages.
Much like any lung assessment, it’s always worth taking the right steps to prepare for a bronchoscopy procedure. Avoiding large meals, smoking, and exercise before your appointment will help to give your doctor a more realistic view of your lungs. It will also be a good idea to make sure that your doctor is aware of any allergies you have.
A bronchoscopy will usually only need to be performed if your doctor is concerned that you have something wrong with your lungs. Other tests, like a pulmonary function test, will be performed before you get to this stage. You may have to go through regular bronchoscopy procedures if you have already been diagnosed with cancer. The procedure itself can take several hours.
Bronchoscopes have been designed to fit into the narrow passages of your pulmonary system while causing as little irritation as possible, though most people will experience numbness in their throat for several hours after their bronchoscopy. You will be monitored for a couple of hours after you’ve gone through a procedure like this.
*Individual Results May Vary
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