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BronchoscopyA bronchoscopy is a diagnostic examination of the lungs used to diagnose lung problems. Your physician inserts a bronchoscope, a flexible fiberoptic tube about the diameter of a pencil, through your nose or mouth and into your lungs. The purpose is to examine air passages to identify any problems and to obtain tissue and fluid samples, if indicated.

What to Expect

When you arrive for the test, you change into a hospital gown. You are asked to sign a consent form. An IV (intravenous) is started. If you wear dentures or glasses, you need to remove them before the test starts. You lie on a special bed with the head elevated as needed. The Cardiopulmonary staff numbs your nasal passages and throat with numbing medicines to aid in passage of the scope.

This procedure takes approximately 30 minutes. Oxygen is given to you as needed and your blood pressure, heart rate/rhythm, respirations and oxygen saturation are monitored before, during, and after the procedure.

You are given a mild sedative through your IV line to help you relax. The physician may need to use fluoroscopy, an x-ray procedure, in order to identify the placement of the scope. Please inform the physician or nurse if there is any chance you may be pregnant. The bronchoscope is passed through your nostril or mouth and may cause some coughing. The physician continues to numb the air passage during the procedure to reduce your cough reflex. The physician may take samples of tissues or fluid through the bronchoscope using tiny instruments.

Most people do not feel any discomfort or sensation when samples are taken. After the procedure there is an approximate 30-40 minute recovery time. Afterward, the physician discussed the findings from the test with you and your family.


  • You are asked to not eat or drink for 6 hours before the test. Inform the physician or nurse of allergies to medications or latex products. 
  • Inform the doctor or nurse if you are on a blood-thinning medication. 
  • The pulmonologist will instruct you on how to take your medications. 
  • Bring a list of your medications with you. 
  • Before the test, you are given an explanation of the test and are asked to sign a consent form. Please feel free to ask questions. 
  • Please make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the test, as you may be drowsy from the sedation. 
  • Every effort is made to contact you prior to test day for explanation of the test and to obtain medical history. If we are unable to contact you and you have questions, please call us at 402-461-5124 to speak to a Cardiopulmonary nurse. Our hours are 6:30am to 4:00pm, Monday - Friday. 
  • Allow approximately 3 hours for your time at the hospital.

Post Test

  • You are not be allowed to drive home. 
  • You are given ice chips for checking your swallowing reflex before discharge. 
  • A follow-up appointment is made, if indicated. 
  • Discharge instructions are reviewed with you and your family before you go home. 
  • Your primary physician is notified of results by the pulmonologist.

Thank you for choosing Mary Lanning Healthcare for your medical needs.

We appreciate your loyalty and confidence in our services. If you have any questions, please contact your physician or a Cardiopulmonary nurse at 402-461-5124.