Skip to main content

Some patient care sites and offices have been affected by the CrowdStrike software issue. Emergency and inpatient care are continuing without interruption.
Patients: click here for more information. Faculty/Staff: click here for information.



What Is It?

Bronchoscopy is a procedure done to examine the trachea, lung, and airways that branch into each lung.

How Do I Prepare?

  • Do not eat or drink anything the night before your procedure if you are scheduled for a morning procedure.
  • If your procedure is scheduled after 12 noon, you may have a clear liquid breakfast only. Clear liquids include: water, ginger ale, apple juice, cranberry juice, clear broth, or frozen popsicles. Coffee without milk is okay too. Do not have anything else after this.
  • Discuss with your doctor what medications you should take.
  • If you are taking medication to thin your blood (e.g., Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, or aspirin), you should check with your doctor about stopping these medications before this test.
  • Medications that your doctor has instructed you to take can be taken with a small amount of water.
  • If you wear dentures, they must be removed for the procedure.
  • Be sure to arrange transportation. Someone must stay with you at the hospital until discharge and drive you home. Transportation will be verified before the procedure. You may use a taxi cab for your transportation only if you have a person accompanying you other than the taxi cab driver. Your procedure may be cancelled if these arrangements are not made.

What Happens During the Procedure?

  • Consent is signed.
  • An intravenous needle (IV) is inserted.
  • You will be given medication to make you sleepy and relaxed and to minimize discomfort.
  • Your throat and nose will be sprayed with a local anesthetic to numb the gag reflex and nasal passage.
  • Oxygen will be used throughout the procedure.
  • You will be in a sitting position on the bed when the doctor inserts a tiny tube through your nose, down your throat, and into the lungs.
  • Your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored throughout the procedure.
  • Coughing is expected both during and after the procedure. If you have difficulty with urine leaking out, you may want to bring along a pad or a change of underwear.
  • The procedure takes about 30-60 minutes.
  • Recovery time is about 2 hours.