Bronchoscopy is a procedure used to visualize the inside of the airways (bronchial tubes). It is used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The bronchoscope is a flexible instrument that is inserted into the airways, usually through the nose or mouth. It has both a light source and digital camera at its end. This allows the physician to examine the patient’s airways for abnormalities such as tumors, bleeding, foreign bodies, or inflammation. At the time of the bronchoscopy specimens may be taken from inside the lungs such as biopsies, fluid, or brushings. The procedure can be accomplished as an outpatient with the use of sedation, similar to that used for a colonoscopy.
You may be referred to MLA by your physician for abnormalities such as a nodule or mass found on an x-ray or CT scan, or for the evaluation of persistent or recurrent pneumonia. Your MLA physician will review all the specifics of this test if he or she decides this would be the best study for you.