What is bronchoscopy?

Direct examination of the airways with an endoscopic camera with a light at the tip is called bronchoscopy. It is a method used to diagnose and sometimes treat many lung diseases. A flexible bronchoscope is usually used for diagnostic procedures. It is administered by experienced and qualified physicians by entering the airways through the mouth or nose.

What procedures are performed during bronchoscopy?

  • Through a channel passing through the bronchoscope, secretions such as sputum and blood in the airways can be absorbed and removed by the help of a suction device called aspirator.
  • A small piece of tissue called a biopsy is taken from the bronchial wall or diseased area with the help of forceps (a bendable wire with a pincer on the end).
  • Brushing and lavage: In addition to the material obtained by brushing the diseased area with the help of a small brush, both physiological and bacteriological examination is provided as a result of lavage performed by withdrawing saline.
  • It is possible to take a biopsy from the lung tissue by using a bronchoscope under radioscopy from a region that cannot be seen directly but can be located on x-ray film. This is called a transbronchial biopsy.
  • Lymph node sampling, which is necessary for lung cancer staging, is performed by needle aspiration through the bronchoscope. While this aspiration can be performed blindly with a conventional bronchoscope, it can also be performed by direct visualization with EBUS, which is a more recent technique that uses intra-bronchial ultrasound.

On whom should bronchoscopy be performed?

  • People who have bloody sputum
  • Patients who have an abnormal appearance in chest x-ray, but are not diagnosed by other methods.
  • Those who are suspected of lung cancer in the chest X-ray or tomography and people who have prolonged, undiagnosed coughing despite all kinds of tests (allergy, reflux, sinusitis, etc.)
  • People with tumor cells in the sputum
  • Patients under follow up for lung cancer, patients with a foreign boy in the trachea
  • Interventional bronchoscopy (laser, argon plasma coagulation, electrocautery, cryocautery) is recommended for tumors that cause obstruction in the trachea and bronchus, to reduce the tumor and open the airway.

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