Getting Ready for Bronchoscopy
What is a Bronchoscopy?
A bronchoscopy is an exam of the inside of your lungs using a thin, flexible tube called a bronchoscope. The reason for your exam is to:
- find the cause for cough or hoarseness
- see if there is any mucous present
- find the cause of coughing up blood
- follow up after an abnormal chest x-ray
- obtain mucous samples (washings)
- obtain tissue biopsies
- diagnose tumors, tuberculosis, obstructions, infections, etc.
Important – Read 1 week in advance.
Procedure may be cancelled if instructions are not followed
1. Five (5) days before the procedure, you should stop taking:
- Aspirin and anti-inflammatory or anti-arthritic medicines. Ask your pharmacist if you’re unsure.
- Blood thinning medicines, such as Coumadin® (warfarin) or Plavix® (clopidigrel). Get detailed instructionsfrom the doctor who prescribed these pills for you.
2. Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is O.K. to take.
3. Diabetic medicines (oral and insulin) will need to be adjusted for
the time you’re not eating as normal. Please discuss this with your primary doctor.
4. You must have an adult to drive you home or your exam will be
cancelled. You may take a cab or bus home only if you have a responsible adult with you other than the driver.
5. Plan ahead. For your exam, you will be given sedatives which can greatly affect your judgment. On the day of your exam, you will not be able to
drive or return to work. Do not make important personal or business decisons until the next day.
6. Our staff will review your health history, prior surgeries, allergies, and medicines taken. Please bring this information with you.
7. If you have an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator, we will need specific information about it before your procedure day. If you haven't already given us this information, please call us during business hours (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday) at (608) 263-8097. Ask to speak to the Procedure Coordinator
Day of the Bronchoscopy
- No solid food, milk, or dairy products until after your exam.
- You may drink clear liquids until 4 hours before you arrive. You must stop for sedation to be given safely. Clear liquids includ water, apple juice, soda, and Gatorade®.
- Take your normal medicines with a small sip of clear liquid up to 1 hour before you arrive. Do not take the pills and supplements mentioned under “Getting Ready.”
- In order to allow time to park and get checked in, please arrive 15 to 20 minutes before your scheduled time. If you are delayed, call us at (608) 263-8097 to let us know you are going to be late. If you are over 30 minutes late, we may have to cancel and schedule you for a different time. We do our best to stay on schedule.
- Enter through the hospital entrance. Stop at the Information Desk to have your parking ticket stamped. Check in at the Ambulatory Procedure Center (GI Endoscopy Clinic) in the C5/2 module (just past the gift shop).
- Plan to be with us about 2 hours. Your driver will need to be available in our waiting room or by phone.
A nurse will review your health history and place an IV. The IV is used to give you medicines which make you feel drowsy and relaxed. When you are in the procedure room, the doctor will numb your nostrils and throat. A tube will be passed through your nostril, down the windpipe, and into your lungs. This may make you cough. You will be able to breathe while the tube is in place. We will ask that you not talk while the tube is in your lungs.
An x-ray machine may be used to check where the tube is in your lungs. If there is any chance you are pregnant, we will need to know this before using the x-ray machine.
The exam will take about 30-60 minutes. You will then go to our Recovery Room for about 1 hour. Your driver may sit with you there. Once awake, you will be given something to drink.
Your doctor will discuss results with you before discharge.
After the Bronchoscopy and for the Rest of the Day
- Do not return to work.
- Do not drive.
- Do not use hazardous machinery.
- Do not make any important decisions.
- Plan to rest.
- Do not drink alcohol.
You should be able to resume normal tasks on the day after your exam. You may have a mild sore throat – salt water gargles should help.
How to Contact Us
Pulmonary Clinic: (608) 263-7203 between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM weekdays.
GI Endoscopy/Bronchoscopy Clinic: (608) 263-8094, option #2, between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM weekdays.
After clinic hours, these numbers will reach the paging operator. Ask for the Pulmonary doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942.
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please let us know at least 5 days in advance.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #6593.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 01/23/2013
Copyright © 05/08/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4328
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