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St. Mary's Endoscopy Suite Treatment & Procedure Information -

Bronchoscopy is performed to directly visualize the trachea and bronchial tree, using a bronchoscope. The bronchoscope is a flexible tube with a light at the end. The doctor looks through the scope as he passes it to various parts of your lung.  You will be able to breathe around the tube during this procedure. In addition to the diagnostic procedure, biopsy, washings, brushings, photography and foreign body removal can be performed.

Preparation for Bronchoscopy

Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before the bronchoscopy. Bring with you a list of all medications that you take on a regular basis and the medications that you are allergic to. If you have had x-rays completed, please bring the films with you the day of your procedure. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or nurse about holding or adjusting your insulin dosage.

Your physician may allow a liquid breakfast before 8 a.m. if your bronchoscopy is scheduled in the afternoon. If you were instructed to not drink liquids after midnight, he or she may have other studies planned that would be affected by them. X-ray equipment is often required to assist your physician.


A premedication injection may be administered approximately 30 minutes before the procedure time. Your nose and throat will be treated for 10 to 15 minutes with a mist of anesthetic medication. You will be asked to remove eyeglasses and dentures. A small intravenous line will be started for medications. These medications will help you to relax, but will not put you to sleep or interfere with your breathing.

The actual procedure will last about 30 minutes to one hour; this time will vary with each individual patient. A nurse will be observing you during the procedure and will help with anything that you may need. The nurse will lay a washcloth over your eyes to protect them from splashing liquids. Your doctor will decide whether the bronchoscope will be inserted through your nose or mouth. You will be lying on your back while the examination is performed. The scope will be lubricated with an anesthetic jelly. The procedure is not painful but some coughing or retching may occur when the bronchoscope is inserted. Please keep in mind that concentrating on slow and even breathing will help your whole body to relax, making the examination less uncomfortable.

Following the Procedure

After the bronchoscopy, you should not eat or drink until you are instructed to do so. Time must be allowed for your gag reflex to return and prevent any food or fluids from being aspirated into your lungs. The medications that you received may make you feel drowsy. Both inpatients and outpatients will be observed in our post-op area for at least one hour. If you bring your prescription medications with you, they may be taken when the throat anesthesia is no longer effective.

Discharge Instructions for Outpatients

Discharge instructions include no driving for eight hours following the bronchoscopy. You will need someone to take you home, due to the medication that you will receive.

Written post-op instructions, including restrictions and signs of possible complications, will be reviewed. A copy of these instructions will be sent home with you when you are released.

Registration and Parking

Please feel free to park in any of the visitor parking lots. Enter through the hospital main entrance and report to the front lobby registration desk. You and your family will then be directed to the Endoscopy Suite. If you have any questions, please call (812) 485-4911.

© 2016 St. Mary's Health System   |  3700 Washington Avenue  |  Evansville, IN 47750  |  (812) 485-4000