Bronchoscopy allows a doctor to examine the inside of a person's airway and lungs for any abnormality such as foreign bodies, bleeding, tumors, or inflammation. The doctor uses either a rigid bronchoscope or flexible bronchoscope.
Rigid bronchoscopy: A rigid bronchoscope is a straight, hollow, metal tube. Doctors perform rigid bronchoscopy less often today, but it remains the procedure of choice for removing foreign material and for several other treatments. Rigid bronchoscopy also becomes useful when bleeding interferes with seeing the area.
Flexible bronchoscopy: A flexible bronchoscope is a long thin tube that contains small clear fibers that transmit light images as the tube bends. Its flexibility allows this instrument to reach further points in an airway than rigid bronchoscopy. The procedure can be performed easily and safely under local anesthesia.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/24/2015
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