A bronchoscopy is an examination that allows the airways to be seen so that the trachea and bronchial tubes can be explored.

Before the examination

Important :

  • Fast from midnight, except for taking your medication with a bit of water.
  • Bring an up-to-date list of the medications you are taking.
  • Bring your respiratory pumps and inhalers if you have them.
  • Bring your health insurance card.
  • Bring your hospital card (if you do not have one, we will make one for you).

You may be asked to temporarily stop some of your medications before the procedure (for example, anticoagulants).

Are you diabetic?
Do not take diabetes medication the morning of your examination.

Do you smoke?
You cannot smoke before the examination. 

After the examination

Returning home after a sedation

How a bronchoscopy is performed

An intravenous catheter is installed to administer medication to facilitate the examination and for your comfort. After anesthetizing (freezing) your nostrils and throat locally, the doctor introduces a flexible tube, called a bronchoscope, through the nose (usually) or through the mouth and into the upper parts of your bronchia. With the help of an optical fibre (camera), the doctor sees the images projected onto a screen allowing the examination to proceed. This examination helps complete a diagnosis established during medical imaging or a clinical examination.


During the examination, it is possible to painlessly conduct a biopsy. In this case, a small instrument is introduced into the bronchoscope to remove a tissue fragment. The collected sample is sent to the hospital laboratory for analysis. In addition, we can perform another test called EBUS (echoendoscopy). A probe at the end of the bronchoscope sends ultrasound to identify structures not visible with conventional endoscopy, mainly lymph nodes. A biopsy can then be performed if necessary.

Length of the examination

The examination lasts for between 10 minutes and one hour, based on the pathology, and you will remain under observation for 30 minutes or more depending on your situation. You must not eat or drink anything for two hours after your examination to make sure that your throat is properly unfrozen. You must be accompanied for the return home because you are not allowed to drive for the 24 hours following your examination, if it required sedation. Your escort can wait in the waiting room. However, this guideline is subject to change.