Bronchoscopy is a technique of visualizing the inside of the airways for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. An instrument (bronchoscope) is inserted into the airways, usually through the nose or mouth, or occasionally through a tracheostomy. This allows the practitioner to examine the patient's airways for abnormalities such as foreign bodies, bleeding, tumors, or inflammation.
Specimens may be taken from inside the lungs. The construction of bronchoscopes ranges from rigid metal tubes with attached lighting devices to flexible optical fiber instruments with realtime video equipment. Diagnostic : To view abnormalities of the airway To obtain tissue specimens of the lung in a variety of disorders. Specimens may be taken from inside the lungs by biopsy, bronchoalveolar lavage, or endobronchial brushing.
To evaluate a person who has bleeding in the lungs, possible lung cancer, a chronic cough, sarcoidosis Therapeutic : To remove secretions, blood, or foreign objects lodged in the airway Laser resection of tumors or benign tracheal and bronchial strictures Stent insertion to palliate extrinsic compression of the tracheobronchial lumen from either malignant or benign disease processes Bronchoscopy is also employed in percutaneous tracheostomy Tracheal intubation of patients with difficult airways is often performed using a flexible bronchoscope