A bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows researchers to take samples from the airways and lungs. Following an anaesthetic spray a small flexible tube is inserted through the nose or mouth and slowly advanced into the breathing passages. The tube is much thinner than the breathing passages and does not restrict your ability to breathe. Once in the correct position, the doctor performing the procedure will pass local anaesthetic into the breathing passages and take the samples that are needed.
Cells from the lining of the breathing passages are collected by gently rubbing a soft brush against the side of the breathing passages. Small samples of the walls of the breathing passages are collected using forceps. The bronchoscopy procedure usually takes around 30 minutes from start to finish. You will be monitored throughout the procedure and prior to going home. If you undertake a bronchoscopy you will receive reimbursement for your time.