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What is it for?
Bronchoscopy is used to diagnose lung problems, by observing the respiratory tract or taking samples for biopsies. This procedure can be carried out using several techniques:
- Biopsies: to collect samples for analysis
- Injecting the ganglia
- Aspiration (sucking up) of secretions
- Bronchoalveolar cleansing
- Bronchial brushing
- Placing stents
How does it work?
Usually, before the test is performed, anaesthesia is administered to the nostrils and the pharynx, in order to avoid any discomfort that might be caused by the test. Then the bronchoscope is inserted through the nostrils or the mouth, which must pass the vocal cords, the trachea and the bronchi. As the device progresses down, local anaesthesia is added to avoid discomfort.
During the exploration, the doctor can take samples, clean the area or even place stents, if necessary.
The most common risks:
- Bleeding due to biopsies
The least common:
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart attack
- Sore throat
It is very important the patient not ingest any food and drink until they have regained their gag reflex, as they may be at risk of choking.
De Souza Galvão