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Traumatology, Rehabilitation and Burns Hospital
What is it for?
To examine the bronchial tree and obtain samples of secretions or tissues for analysis with the aim of gaining an aetiological diagnosis of the causative illness. It can also be a therapeutic test, allowing suction of secretions or clots, extraction of foreign bodies, permeability of the airway in lung tumours and treatment of complications resulting from lung transplant.
How does it work?
With the patient normally lying down and consciously sedated, the bronchoscope is introduced into the airway, administering local anaesthesia in the passageways (larynx, trachea and bronchi). After examining all the bronchi and identifying any possible lesions, samples are taken, which may include: bronchial aspiration, bronchoalveolar lavage, bronchial brushing, transbronchial puncture, bronchial biopsy or transbronchial biopsy.
Minor undesirable affects may appear, such as snoring, cough, fever, localised pain, nausea or sickness and coughing up small amounts of blood, which are usually self-limiting and present no risk to life. Less commonly, major complications may occur, such as haemorrhage, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, pneumothorax (entry of air into the thorax outside of the lung). In very rare cases, complications such as arrhythmia or arrest of the heart, respiratory depression or arrest and acute stroke, may be severe and require medical or surgical treatment, including a small risk of death.
Rigid bronchoscopy, CT-guided needle lung biopsy, mediastinoscopy, surgical lung biopsy.
De Souza Galvão