Bronchoscopy

Bronchoscopy is like doing endoscopy of the lungs. It is done to determine the presence or absence of lung disease and/or help evaluate the effectiveness current therapy. Bronchoscopy is performed usually under local anaesthesia with conscious sedation, but rarely general anaesthesia may be required. The procedure involves introduction of a tube like instrument in the airways through nose or mouth. The procedure may involve lavage of the airways, biopsy from the lungs and transbronchial or transbronchial needle aspiration from the suspicious pathology. Every effort is made to conduct the procedure in such a way as to minimize discomfort and risks. However, just as with other types of prodedures, there are inherent potential risks of this procedure. The incidence of major complications associated with bronchoscopy are 0.8% – 1.3%. The complications include accumulation of air in pleural space, hemorrhage, subcutaneous emphysema, postoperative fever, chest infection, cardiac arrhythmias, hypoxemia, vasovagal attack, myocardial infarction, pulmonacy oedema, laryngospamm bronchospasm, hypoventilation and rupture of lung abscess. The mortality rate associated with bronchoscopy is < 0.01%.