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Starship Paediatric Respiratory Services

Public Service, Respiratory, Paediatrics

Flexible Bronchoscopy

In occasional cases, it may be recommended that a flexible bronchoscopy is performed. This is a test where a small ‘scope (camera on a guidable arm) is passed into your child’s airways to actually see what the lungs look like. This test allows the doctors to see if there are any poorly grown, or misshapen airways; any airways squashed (e.g. by glands); or if the airways look inflamed. It is usual to perform a “lavage” at the same time as the bronchoscopy. This is a test where an amount of saline (salt water) is washed into the lungs, and immediately sucked back out again. In doing this we can get better samples of mucus from which we can look for organisms, and sometimes also look for evidence of other, more complicated problems. The lavage doesn’t cause any serious or long term side effects. If a bronchoscopy (with or without lavage) is thought to help towards your child’s care, your doctor will discuss this with you. If your child is going to have a bronchoscopy, a DVD explaining what happens will be sent to your address when the bronchoscopy date is confirmed.

This page was last updated at 12:53PM on July 7, 2021.