Bronchoscopy is a quick and straightforward procedure performed to look inside and help diagnose a problem in your airways and lungs. It can also treat some lung problems at the same time.

Ramsay hospitals follow strict safety protocols to minimise the risk of infection and keep our patients and workforce safe.

What is Bronchoscopy?

A bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to see your airways and lungs.

During a bronchoscopy, your doctor inserts a bronchoscope, that is a thin tube attached with a light and a camera on the end, through your nose or mouth.

Your doctor uses the bronchoscope to see your airways and to take photographs or videos of them. They may also take a sample of tissue, called a transbronchial biopsy, to analyse.

The bronchoscope will probably be in your airways for 20 minutes or less and may be slightly uncomfortable.

The results of your bronchoscopy help your doctor to make a diagnosis and plan the best treatment for you.

What is a bronchoscopy used to diagnose?

A bronchoscopy is used to diagnose or treat a condition of the airways or lungs.

Your doctor might recommend a bronchoscopy if you have symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, a chronic cough, or coughing up blood. It may also be used if you have had a collapsed lung several times, or if you have an abnormal chest x-ray or CT scan result.

Bronchoscopy is used to help diagnose lung disease, infection and tumours as well as the cause of a fever.

Bronchoscopy can also be used to treat an airway problem such as removing a foreign object, fluid or mucus or treating cancer. 

Are you sedated for a bronchoscopy?

Yes, you normally have mild sedation for a bronchoscopy. You will be awake but feel relaxed and drowsy during the bronchoscopy procedure.

What kind of anaesthesia is used for a bronchoscopy?

You will have a local anaesthetic before your bronchoscopy procedure so that you do not feel pain. This is usually in the form of a spray or a gargle. Alternatively, you might also be given a local anaesthetic injection.

What is the recovery process after a bronchoscopy procedure?

A bronchoscopy procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis so you can go home once your surgeon is happy for you to do so.

You will be able to go back to work or your daily routine after 24 hours of your bronchoscopy procedure. Due to having a sedative, you should not drive, operate machinery or drink alcohol for 24 hours.

After about two hours, when you can cough, known as your cough or gag reflex, you can eat and drink.

Your throat may be sore especially when swallowing for a few days.

It is not recommended that you fly for one month after having a transbronchial biopsy.

Your doctor will discuss the findings of your bronchoscopy and biopsy results if taken and their recommended follow-up treatment.

What is the cost of a bronchoscopy procedure?

You will receive a formal quotation price following your consultation with one of our expert surgeons when a bronchoscopy procedure is recommended for you. This formal quote for your bronchoscopy procedure will be valid for 60 days and includes unlimited aftercare.

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. Bronchoscopy procedure is covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before starting your treatment.

We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your transbronchial lung biopsy surgery yourself. These include:

  • Interest-free finance – 0% interest, no deposit and affordable monthly instalments. .
  • All-inclusive Total Care - one-off pre-agreed payment for access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance. .
  • Pay as you go – flexible funding to pay for treatment as and when costs arise. Often used if your treatment costs are difficult to assess.

Bronchoscopy at Ramsay Health Care UK

Bronchoscopy at Ramsay Health Care UK is a routine procedure. It offers our patients the latest, low risk, fast recovery and no scar diagnostic technique to find the problem in your lungs or airways.

Many Ramsay hospitals have dedicated JAG-accredited endoscopy units that offer rapid access to convenient appointments without waiting lists and high-quality and safe services that meet JAG quality standards.

We are proud to work in partnership with highly experienced surgeons who can expertly diagnose lung and airway problems.

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