What is a bronchoscope?

Michael T. Czarnecki, MD
Pulmonary Disease
A bronchoscope is a tool to help diagnose lung diseases. The bronchoscope has some special advanced equipment on the tip, including a light, a camera and a channel that allows doctors to pass special instrumentation through to help figure out and diagnose what the lung condition could be. It allows doctors to take some pieces of tissue with calipers, or even take a needle and place the needle inside the area of concern to collect tissue.

This tissue can be analyzed and identified by pathologists. Then doctors can design a treatment plan to fit the disease -- possibly antibiotics for a minor infection or an aggressive combination of techniques, if it's more serious, like a lung cancer.

This is a procedure that has minimal risks that are far outweighed by its benefits.

A bronchoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument used to examine the inside of the trachea, bronchi (air passages that lead to the lungs), and lungs. A bronchoscope has a light and a lens for viewing, and may have a tool to remove tissue.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.


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