Both for diagnosis and sometimes for treatment of different respiratory diseases, it becomes important to visualize the inside of the lungs with non-surgical measures through endoscopic (bronchoscopic) examination.  Bronchoscopy is helpful not only to look into the airways but also to take different kinds of tissue-samples and biopsies for further investigations. It is generally done under local anesthesia with the help of a flexible, fiberoptic video-bronchoscope.

Bronchoscopy may be required when investigating a case with intractable cough, blood in sputum, weight loss, progressive breathlessness and lung infections. The decision to do or not to do bronchoscopy however rests with your physician. Your pulmonologist may decide to do bronchoscopy when suspecting a diagnosis of one or more of the following conditions:  

  • Airways obstruction and/or lung collapse due to a tumour such as lung cancer, narrowing or stenosis.
  • Airways inflammations or infections such as tuberculosis, bacterial and fungal pneumonias
    Diffuse, interstitial lung diseases
  • Lymph nodes or masses in the mediastinum or lung parenchyma

Broncoscopy may be done to obtain different types of biopsies such as the following:

  • Biopsy of bronchial wall
  • Biopsy of lung tissues for interstitial lung diseases
  • Endo-bronchial ultra-sound (EBUS) guided biopsy) from lymphnodes, masses and other nodules
  • Broncho-alveolar lavage for infections such as tuberculosis, fungal infection and parasitic diseases.

Bronchoscopy may be sometimes helpful as a treatment procedure for the following:

  • Removal of a foreign body aspirated into the airways
  • In cases of lung cancer for adjunctive treatment modalities: cryo-therapy, laser-therapy and brachy-therapy 
  • For placement of bronchial stents and valves
  • For lung lavage for certain rare conditions

Bronchoscopy is a safe procedure. The results obtained at different centres are highly variable. It is therefore important to undertake the procedure at a ‘best chest clinic’ for safety and best results. In children, bronchoscopy under general anaesthesia is the procedure of choice for diagnosis and management. Flexible bronchoscopy performed with a fiberoptic instrument is more commonly done under local anaesthesia in a conscious state by pulmonary physicians especially in adult patients. 
We at the Jindal Chest Clinic have had a chance to help a large number of patients with fiberoptic bronchoscopy. Dr Aditya Jindal has already crossed over a thousand patients in the last few years.