What is Elective Bronchoscopy?
The branches of the windpipe that carry air into our lungs are called the bronchia (bronchus: singular). Sometimes, when a bronchus develops swelling or becomes infected, a thorough examination is often necessary. This operation is called an elective bronchoscopy.
How Is an Elective Bronchoscopy Done?
During an elective bronchoscopy procedure, the patient may be sedated or put under general anesthesia. A flexible tube (bronchoscope) is then passed through the patient’s mouth and into the bronchus or bronchia. Healthcare professionals may take samples of tissue from inside the bronchus for biopsy. Phlegm may also be drawn out for examination. The wound heals quickly and does not need stitches. The procedure takes about 20 minutes, and the patient is fit for discharge the same day. An elective bronchoscopy is often the best way to deal with a bronchial problem since x-rays and scans are not always conclusive enough to diagnose the problem.
General Guidelines and Risks Involved During an Elective Bronchoscopy.
For various healthcare reasons, it is recommended that the patient stops smoking and addresses weight problems in the weeks before the procedure. The doctor must be informed if the patient has a cold prior to elective bronchoscopy, as the operation would have to be postponed. After the procedure, it is common to have a cough with streaks of blood in the phlegm. There may be soreness in the throat and some pain, which is treated with painkillers. Usually a risk-free procedure, some patients may have problems connected with the heart and lungs, due to the anesthesia, but this will be checked in pre-operative tests. Sometimes, in the process of tissue or foreign body removal, the windpipe gets injured, causing bleeding. In this case, the patient is urged to inform his or her physician immediately since another operation may be required. Most infections can be easily treated with antibiotics.