Bronchoscopy is a diagnostic test that is used to view the airways, throat and larynx. This procedure can also facilitate removal of a growth or obstruction from the airway. Bronchoscopy is useful in diagnosing lung diseases and lung cancer. Any growth in the airways can be treated or removed. Other diagnostic tests such as CBC test, arterial blood gas test and PFT may be prescribed before embarking on bronchoscopy. The secretions in the mouth and airways are dried up with suitable medications. The vocal chords are also numbed. Fluroscope is also used to capture the images on a monitor. Avoid eating or drinking for a few hours prior to a bronchoscopy procedure. There might be blood in the sputum in case of biopsy.
Flexible bronchoscope allows a better view of the smaller airways and permits biopsy procedure too. This is called a transbronchial biopsy. Local anesthesia is often sprayed into the nose and mouth.
Rigid bronchoscope often necessitates the patient to be anesthesized and is resorted to when large samples need to be taken for biopsy and to remove pieces of food or dilating the airway. Use of laser is possible for removal for obstructions.
Abnormal results of bronchoscopy may be indicative of lung cancer, tumor, enlarged lymph nodes, ulceration or abnormality in the bronchial wall. Bronchoscopy is prescibed in cases where the patient coughs up blood or chest x-ray shows abnormal findings. If a person has inhaled a foreign body into the lung, bronchoscopy can help in removing it.
Lung biopsy involves removal of small piece of lung tissue to check for any conditions such as sarcoidosis, pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer. It is essential to keep the physician informed if the patient is pregnant or taking medications such as warfarin or anticoagulants. Do not eat or drink for 8 to 10 hours before the lung biopsy. The secretions in the mouth and airways is dried up with some medications.
Open lung biopsy may need hospitalization for a couple of days. This procedure involves making an incision between the ribs to take a sample of lung tissue. This is preferred when a larger sample is required and is done under anesthesia. An endotracheal tube is passed through the airways to take a sample of lung tissue.
Bronchoscope lung biopsy is done in cases of suspected infection. The bronchoscope is inserted through the nose or mouth into the airways. This type of lung biopsy is used when abnormal tissue is near the breathing tubes.
VATS Video assisted thorascopic surgery involves use of thorasope to remove a sample of lung tissue.
Mediastinoscopy is conducted under general anesthesia. The mediastinoscope is inserted through an incision made between the lungs. Any abnormal tissues or lymph nodes are examined.
Lung cancer has been commonly associated with cigarette smoking and use of tobacco. Lung cancer can surface in any part of the lung, though most instances of lung cancer are noticed in the epithelial lining. Smoking is the cause for nearly 90%of the cases of lung cancer. Tobacco smoke contains carcinogens that contribute towards the development of lung cancer. Women smokers are at greater risk of lung cancer than men smokers. Even passive smoking is fraught with risks. Another cause for lung cancer is exposure to asbestos fibers. This gives rise to mesothelioma. A small percentage of lung cancer cases are attributed to radon gas exposure. Persons suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) at at increased risk for lung cancer. Air pollution arising from vehicular and industrial effluents can increase the risk of lung cancer.
Symptoms of lung cancer include coughing and wheezing and chest pain. A patient suffering from lung cancer may notice blood while coughing. There might be extreme fatigue and unexplained weight loss. Lung cancer patients are more likely to face repeated respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Other symptoms of lung cancer include difficulty in swallowing and enlargement of lymph nodes on the neck.
The physician will look into the lungs with a bronchoscope. Tissue samples are often taken for biopsy. Sputum cytology is also conducted to detect presence of lung cancer cells. Chest x-ray and examination is done. Tissue biopsy of lymph nodes is done to diagnose lung cancer. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are used in the treatment of lung cancer.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: March 21, 2019