Bronchoscopy is a test to view the airways and diagnose lung disease, using a flexible device called a bronchoscope. The bronchoscope has a light and a tiny camera that allow the lung surgeon or pulmonologist to see inside the chest and take pictures. It also may be used to help treat some lung conditions or to collect samples of tissue or fluid, using tiny tools attached to the end of the tube. The procedure is performed in special outpatient rooms or in a hospital area. Most patients will receive medicine to help them relax during the procedure, and some may be put to sleep with general anesthesia.
If there is excess bleeding or a large object stuck in the throat, the doctor may need to use a stiff tube instead of a flexible tube. The stiff tube is wider and requires that the patient be in a hospital setting. Bronchoscopy may be used to insert an airway stent (a small tube that helps open blocked airways). Newer types of flexible bronchoscopes use ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT), or fluorescence technology to create pictures of the airways.
UAB Pulmonary Services is ranked among the best programs of its kind in the nation, and our physicians are consistently listed among the Best Doctors in America for respiratory disease. We serve patients at our main campus and also at our convenient neighborhood clinics in Hoover and Gardendale.
Most UAB Pulmonary Services doctors are triple-board-certified in internal medicine, critical care, and pulmonary medicine. They serve on national boards and specialty organizations, speak at national conferences, publish in scientific and medical journals, and conduct research that is recognized nationally and internationally. Our physicians are continually seeking new ways to treat lung disease and improve the care for patients.
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