Friday, July 30, 2010

What is a Bronchoscopy?

BRONCHOSCOPY INFORMATION

What is a Bronchoscopy?

A bronchoscopy is a test which allows the doctor to look directly at the trachea (the windpipe), the bronchi (branches of the airways) and into some areas of the lungs. A bronchoscope is passed up through your nose, past your larynx (voice box), down your trachea and into the bronchi. The bronchoscope is a long flexible tube, about the width of a thin pencil, with a bright light at the end. Looking down the tube the doctor gets a clear view of the different areas of your respiratory system and can check whether or not any disease is present; a chronic condition can also be assessed. During the test different procedures may be performed to obtain small amounts of tissue for further examination in the laboratory. A biopsy specimen may be taken from a particular area. This involves the painless removal of a small piece of tissue using tiny forceps threaded through the bronchoscope. If the biopsy needs to be taken from an area which is more difficult to reach, X-ray equipment may be used in a darkened room to help the doctor locate the tissue.

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