Body Vision Cameras: Important Things to Know About Bronchoscopy

 As someone dealing with a bunch of different and still as yet mostly unexplained medical issues, I've been doing a lot different tests and procedures and have more still to do. Each time I have one scheduled I've been googling them to find out details to help me not freak out (or at least not too much), so when I was asked to post this about a procedure called a bronchoscopy I was happy to, if only to have this information out there so that when jittery people like myself need to know this, it will be available. Fortunately, I'm at least not dealing with lung issues (knock on wood) so this isn't relevant to me, but if any of you are, hopefully this will be helpful for you. Just a note, after the break there is medical information and a picture that might make people queasy; you have been warned. If you're squeamish, you might want to scroll on by instead of clicking to expand this.

Airways can get blocked, or your healthcare provider may simply need to get a mucus sample. Sadly, lung diseases also happen.

You can visit here to learn more about lung diseases and their various types. Whatever the case is, getting told you need to get a bronchoscopy done can be intimidating. You may be scared out of your wits if you hadn’t heard the word before then.

However, the procedure isn’t as scary as the term that describes it. Knowing some basic things about the procedure can help you feel a lot better about it. Hence, in this read, we will be discussing some of the important things you need to know about bronchoscopy.

Let us start by defining what it is…


Bronchoscopy is a medical operation that allows a healthcare provider to look into and examine their patient’s airways. An instrument known as a bronchoscope is used for this procedure.

The bronchoscope will be inserted into the patient’s mouth or nose and pushed down their throat till it gets to the lung. A camera and light source are often attached to the bronchoscope.



There are two types of bronchoscopy. Let us briefly discuss them below:

1. Flexible Bronchoscopy

This is the most used type of this procedure. For this type, flexible bronchoscopes are used; this tool can typically fit into smaller bronchioles (airways). It’s often used to:
  • Put medication on the lungs
  • Remove tissue samples
  • Suction secretions
  • Insert an oxygen breathing tube inside the bronchioles.
Flexible bronchoscopes are mostly used because the chances of damaging tissues are reduced with them. Also, people tend to handle them better than rigid ones.

2. Rigid Bronchoscopy

Rigid bronchoscopy is performed with rigid bronchoscopes which are straight tube instruments. Unlike its counterpart, this isn’t used in smaller airways. Rather, it is used for viewing larger airways.

When cameras like body vision cameras are attached to rigid bronchoscopes, they can be used to:
  • Control bleeding
  • Take out foreign objects
  • Take out bad tissues (lesions)
  • Remove a large amount of blood or secretions
  • Carry out procedures like stents or other treatments

Getting Ready for the Procedure

You would have to give your doctor a list of your medications. Do not think any medication you are currently taking is insignificant. The list should contain everything, from your vitamins to herbs, prescriptions, supplements, and even over-the-counter medicines. This is important because some medications have to be discontinued before bronchoscopy is done.

You will then have to sign a form of consent. Ensure you ask about anything you aren’t sure about and get clear answers.


Below are some of the potential risks of the procedure:
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Bronchial perforation: the airway can get punctured
  • Bronchospasm: the airway may get irritated
  • Laryngospasm: your vocal cords may get irritated
  • Air may get between the pleural space (lung covering). This may result in pneumothorax (lung collapse)
The risks the patient is susceptible to is often based on their general health as well as other factors. You may ask your doctor to know which risks you are susceptible to.

When Can’t Bronchoscopy Be Done? 

These are some of the cases where a bronchoscopy procedure can’t be done:
  • When the patient’s oxygen level is low
  • Gagging or severe coughing
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • When the trachea is blocked or severely narrow (tracheal stenosis)
Why is a Bronchoscopy Ordered?

Your doctor may order a bronchoscopy to either treat or diagnose the following lung issues:
  • Paralysis of the vocal cord
  • Spots were noticed on the chest from an X-ray
  • Causes of coughs that are persistent
  • The reason a patient is coughing out blood
  • Infections and inflammation like parasitic or fungal lung infections, pneumonia (visit to learn how to prevent pneumonia), tuberculosis (TB), and so on.
  • Airway obstruction or blockage
  • Bronchial cancer or tumors
Other reasons bronchoscopy may be needed include:
  • To collect sputum
  • Tissue biopsy
  • Fluid put in and removed from the lungs (BAL or bronchoalveolar lavage) used to diagnose disorders in the lungs
  • Growth (polyps), mucus plugs, blood, or secretion removal to clear blocked airways
  • To control bronchi bleeding
  • To remove foreign objects and other blockages
  • To keep the airway open by inserting a stent (small tube). This operation is known as stent placement.
  • Radiation treatment or laser therapy
  • Draining abscess
The doctor may also advise or order a bronchoscopy based on some other reasons.

What Next?

After the process, you can go home on that same day. However, contact your doctor if you have the following after the procedure:
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling or redness of your IV area
  • Fever higher than 38°C

In this article, we have discussed some of the important things you need to know about bronchoscopy procedure. Hopefully, you are now more informed on the subject matter than 95 percent of the population.

Wishing you and yours good health!

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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