Indications | Pre-examination Preparations | Procedures | Post-examination Instructions | Advices on Discharge | Possible Risks and Complications

Bronchoscopy is a procedure that a thin and flexible endoscope is inserted via the mouth or nose and passed into the trachea and tracheo-bronchial tree for visualization and examination of major airways of the lung.


  • Therapeutic
    - Removal of foreign objects
    - Haemostasis
    - Removal of retained or impacted secretions
  • Diagnostic
    - Haemoptysis
    - Swelling of cervical lymph node
    - Persistent cough
    - Dysphagia
    - Hoarseness of voice
    - Dyspnoea or wheezing
    - Persistent chest pain
    - Abnormal chest X-ray result

Pre-examination Preparations

  • No food or drinks six hours before operation.
  • Please change into a surgical gown after removing all clothing including undergarments, dentures, jewellery and contact lenses.
  • Please empty your bladder before the operation.


  • The blood pressure, pulse rate and oxygen saturation are closely monitored during the procedure.
  • Patient is kept in a supine position.
  • Nostrils and throat are sprayed with local anaesthetic agent to reduce discomfort. Intravenous sedation may be administered if necessary.
  • The bronchoscope is inserted through the nose or mouth into the tracheo-bronchial tree to visualize the inside of the lungs.
  • Biopsies may be taken for further examinations.
  • Airway irritation resulting in coughing may happen during the procedure.

Post-examination Instructions

  • A normal diet can be resumed after two hours after the procedure provided that gag reflex returns.
  • The patient may feel dizziness after anaesthesia. Bed rest for a few hours is recommended.
  • Inform the nurse in the event of pain or shortness of breath.
  • Mild cough, sore throat, voice hoarse and blood stained sputum may be occurred for a short period of time after the procedure.
  • Chest X-ray may be required if biopsy is taken during the procedure.
  • The patient is usually discharged on the same day or next day after the procedure. Patients with potential risks may be hospitalized for observation of complications such as significant bleeding or pneumothorax etc.


  • A normal diet can be resumed after two hours after the procedure provided that gag reflex returns

Advices on Discharge

  • Adequate rest should be taken in the first 24 – 48 hours.
  • The patient should immediately return to the doctor or hospital for professional attention in the event of shortness of breath, massive hemoptysis, vomiting or high fever over 38℃ or 100℉, etc.
  • Any follow-up consultations should be attended as scheduled.

Possible Risks and Complications

  • Cardiac dysrhythmias
  • Pneumothorax
  • Haemoptysis
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Bronchospasm