Post-Bronchoscopy Instructions

Today you underwent a fiberoptic bronchoscopy which is an examination of the airways in your lungs with a lighted tube. Since some of the medications you received will make you sleepy, I have given you this sheet to help you through the period after your bronchoscopy.

Many people will have a mild sore nose and/or sore throat for about a day after the procedure. A mild throat lozenge will make your throat feel better. Other things which may bother you include:

  1. Potential for an elevated temperature. It is not unusual to develop a fever four to six hours after the bronchoscopy. This happens in nearly one-third of cases. However, if you develop a persistent fever or if it is over 102 degrees Fahrenheit, be sure to call the office. Tylenol is usually sufficient to treat the bronchoscopy fever.
  2. Potential for a pneumothorax in one out of every 100 cases. (A pneumothorax is when air gets between the lining of the ribs and lung causing the lung to partially or totally collapse.) If you develop severe shortness of breath or severe chest pain, be sure to call the office or go to the emergency room. Treatment for a pneumothorax requires that a chest tube be inserted to slowly pull this misplaced air out and allow the lung to reinflate.
  3. Potential for serious, life-threatening bleeding in one out of 1,000 cases. If you cough up a cup or more of SOLID blood within 12 to 24 hours after the bronchoscopy, be sure to call the office or go to the emergency room. This will be treated by close observation and possible blood replacement.
  4. Because the bronchoscopy can irritate your airways, you may experience an increase in your cough. Please collect any sputum in the appropriate container (provided by us) if asked. If your cough steadily increased over two to three days, call us please.

Most often, recovery is rapid and uneventful. A day of rest is advised. If you have problems such as those listed above, please call. We will try to keep in touch with you afterwards to see how you are doing and to give you the results of the procedure.


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