This page will provide you with information about bronchoscopy procedures. For further details, please speak to your consultant.

What is a bronchoscopy?

A bronchoscopy is a medical examination of the bronchi to check for any potential problems with your airways. It is a relatively straightforward procedure which generally takes less than 15 minutes to perform. Your consultant will use a bended, telescopic tool to inspect your lungs and help form a diagnosis.

What are the alternatives to a bronchoscopy?

In some cases, another method of examining the bronchi might be more suitable. These can include:

  • X-rays
  • Scans
  • Biopsy (the extraction of small pieces of tissue)

What will happen during the bronchoscopy procedure?

Your consultant may put you under sedation so that you feel relaxed throughout the procedure.

The bronchoscope is a slim and flexible telescope which can be passed through your nostrils, down the passage into your lungs (see Figure 1). In order to make a diagnosis, your consultant will be able to look at your bronchi and in some cases, may perform a biopsy or place a little fluid on the lungs to see how they respond.

Risks and complications

Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your expert consultant.


Although it could take a couple of hours for any sedation to wear off, you will be able to go home after your procedure and return to work the following day. Your consultant will give you all the information you need regarding the results of your procedure and any follow-up appointments or treatment you may need.


To check for problems affecting the airways, a bronchoscopy is usually a safe and reliable procedure.


EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.