What is a bronchoscopy?

A bronchoscopy is a procedure that lets your physician look at your lungs (bronchi). We may need to take a tissue biopsy for further analysis at the lab.

Outpatient procedure

A bronchoscope is a long tube with a small camera on top. This tube will be inserted into the airways through your mouth or nose. The procedure takes approximately 5 to 15 minutes and does not require hospital admission. 

You will receive your bronchoscopy at the Diagnostics and Treatment Center.

What to expect

A bronchoscopy - how does it work?

We will start by administering an anesthetic to suppress your gag reflex and numb your mouth, throat and nasal cavities. This spray solution will numb the mucus membrane, and may taste bitter.

During the procedure, you will be lying down on an examination table or sitting upright in a chair. Your pulmonologist will insert the bronchoscope carefully through the nose or mouth, into the throat towards the bronchi. We will continue to drip a numbing agent into your airways while carefully monitoring your blood oxygen levels through a sensor attached to your finger. The procedure will take approximately 5 to 15 minutes. 


Please do not eat or drink for 6 hours before the procedure. Your physician can tell you which medication you can and cannot take before the procedure.

You can breathe as normal during the procedure. We will also supply extra oxygen through a nasal tube. The numbing agent that we drip into your airways may cause an uncomfortable urge to cough. This will pass after a few seconds. 

If you are very anxious about the procedure, we can give you something to relax. We recommend taking someone with you who can take you home afterwards. 

After the procedure

If your pulmonologist did not find any abnormalities, you will receive your results immediately. If tissue biopsies were taken, you will receive the results of the analysis after approximately 10 weekdays. We will schedule a consultation with you to discuss the results at the clinic.

You will not be able to eat for an hour and a half following the procedure to allow the numbing agent to leave your system. Eating with a numb throat may cause choking. Your throat may feel sore for some time, and swallowing might be hard. You also may experience bloody mucus when you cough. This should not last longer than a day. If this symptom continues, please contact your physician. 

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