A bronchoscopy is a medical procedure that uses a scope to look inside the airways to diagnose and in some cases treat problems. A bronchoscope (a long, thin, and flexible fiber optic tube) transmits pictures from the tip to an eyepiece or to a video set. It is used to look at the larynx, trachea and bronchial airways of the lungs and shows more details from the inside of the airways than pictures taken with X-rays. The bronchoscope has an open channel allowing instruments to go through the scope and be used to take tissue samples, cauterize bleeding or remove thick mucus blocking the airways.
A bronchoscopy can be used to examine many different respiratory tract symptoms, including: pain the in the trachea, difficulty breathing, bleeding, tumors and chest pain. Clear and detailed images and video projected on a monitor helps the doctor diagnose problems. In some cases, a bronchoscopy can be used to treat the problem, removing blockage from the airways.