Bronchoscopy is the examination of the bronchi (the main airways of the lungs) using a flexible tube (bronchoscope) inserted into the nose or mouth. Bronchoscopy is performed in a procedure room or operating theater and helps to evaluate and diagnose lung problems, assess blockages, and, with the aid of miniscule tools, obtain samples of tissue or fluid and help remove a foreign body. Prior medication allows the patient to be relaxed during the procedure. The bronchoscope has a light and a tiny camera to allow the lung surgeon or pulmonologist to view inside the chest and take pictures. If there is excess bleeding or a large object stuck in the throat, the doctor may need to use a rigid instead of flexible tube. A rigid tube is wider and requires that a hospital setting be utilized. Bronchoscopy also can be used to treat lung problems, such as with the insertion of an airway stent or in bronchial thermoplasty. Newer types of flexible bronchoscopy include ones that use ultrasound, CT, or fluorescence technology to create pictures of the airways.
IMAGES AND VIDEOS
UAB nurse, Barbara, diagnosed with cancer in both lungs, is now cancer free and thriving, thanks to treatment from her multi-disciplinary care team at UAB Medicine.
Barbara, a nurse in UAB's High Risk OB Clinic, was referred to the Interventional Pulmonology & Pleural Disease Program after an annual physical revealed spots on both her lungs. In a single bronchoscopy procedure, UAB Interventional Pulmonology and Pleural Disease physicians were able to biopsy her lymph nodes as well as locate and biopsy both spots, determining they were two separate and curable stage-one cancers, and allowing for more timely treatment. Barbara shares the story of her journey back to good health with help from a compassionate, multi-disciplinary care team at UAB Medicine.
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