Getting Ready for Bronchoscopy in the Pulmonary Clinic
Date of procedure_________________Time__________MD_______________________
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please let us know at least 5 days in advance.
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:
- All vitamins and herbal supplements.
- 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. 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.
4. 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. You should not make important personal or business decisions until the next day.
5. Our staff will review your health history, prior surgeries, allergies, and medicines taken. Please bring this information with you.
6. If you are on CPAP or BiPAP therapy during the night, please bring your machine with you to use during the time you are sedated.
If your Bronchoscopy is in the morning
The night before, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
If you have diabetes: If your exam is in the morning do not take your insulin until after the test. Please bring your insulin with you the day of the exam.
If your Bronchoscopy is at noonor later
The night before the exam, do not eat any solid foods after midnight. The morning of the exam you may have a clear liquid breakfast, such as bouillon, tea, Jell-O®, 7-Up®, etc. before 8:00am. Do not eat or drink anything after 8:00am. (Jell-O® ust be made with water from the box, not pre-made in the cups.)
If you have diabetes: If you eat a clear liquid breakfast, take a partial dose of insulin. Regulate the dosage by: what you had for breakfast and when your next meal will be. You will not be able to eat until 30 to 60 minutes after the bronchoscopy. If you are unsure of how much insulin to take, please call your regular internist or doctor the day before the bronchoscopy to find out how much to take. Please bring your insulin with you the day of the exam.
Day of the Bronchoscopy
1. Please follow eating and drinking orders above based on the time of your exam.
2. Medicines we want you to take include blood pressure pills, heart pills, breathing medicines, or inhalers. Do not take the pills and supplements mentioned under “Getting Ready.”
3. 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) 263-8094 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.
4. 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 which is just past the gift shop.
5. 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 intravenous line (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. Please tell the doctor or nurse if you are allergic to any medicines.
The exam will take about 30-60 minutes. You will then go to our Recovery Room for about one 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. If tissue samples were taken, you may cough up a few steaks of blood. This should not last longer than the next morning. If it does, call your doctor.
How to Contact Us
Pulmonary Clinic, between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM weekdays, (608) 263-7203.
After clinic hours, this number is answered by the paging operator. Ask for the pulmonologist 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.
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: 01/16/2013
Copyright © 02/01/2010 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6516
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