A bronchoscopy procedure enables a physician to essentially “go inside” one’s lungs to see what’s going on. That’s obviously a simplistic explanation, but the procedure itself is somewhat simplistic yet highly effective at helping a doctor identify the source of a lung ailment such as chronic coughing, wheezing, bleeding, and shortness of breath.
For example, during a basic bronchoscopy procedure, a physician is able to identify the following ailments:
– A lung tumor
– Signs of a lung infection
– An excess build-up of mucus in the airways
– Bleeding within the lungs
– Evidence of a blockage (ie food) within the airway
During a bronchoscopy, a doctor is also able to take samples of mucus or tissue from one’s lungs for more detailed laboratory testing.
What exactly does a basic bronchoscopy procedure entail? Your doctor will essentially insert a thin, flexible tube called a bronchoscope into your nose or mouth. In most cases, you will be provided with medication to help you feel relaxed and subdued during the procedure. This may sound like a painful ordeal, but it really isn’t. The bronchoscope tube will be gently guided down your throat into your airways.
The bronchoscope has a light and small camera that enables your physician to see your windpipe and airways. The camera also allows for high resolution pictures to be taken. This can be extremely useful when attempting to diagnose a problem.
When you really stop and think about it, this procedure can really make a big difference in a doctor’s ability to diagnose and treat a problem in one’s lungs. Advances in medical technology have resulted in smaller cameras that are even more detailed as well as in thinner, more flexible bronchoscopes.
From a safety standpoint, a bronchoscope procedure carries minimal risk. Some people indicate that they have a little bit of a sore throat after the procedure, but that’s about it. We are not really talking about a procedure that carries any significant long-term side effects.
To the extent you or somebody you know has a lung ailment that seems to be lingering, or that is unresponsive to medication, it might make a lot of sense to schedule an appointment with a doctor and ask about whether or not a bronchoscope procedure may be appropriate.
Remember, it’s a safe, painless procedure. Best of all, a bronchoscope can help diagnose and treat a variety of different lung ailments. Ask your doctor if this procedure is right for you.