Bronchoscopy

CHILD, ADOLESCENT, ADULT AND GERIATRICS
A man wearing a dark grey coat coughs as he crosses a road, in the distance you can see a car.
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Our doctors have extensive bronchoscopy training.
  • We combine other technologies with the bronchoscope for increased accuracy.
  • We take the time to go over test results with patients, making sure they understand what their results mean.

Let’s say that you’ve been coughing or experiencing discomfort in your chest, but the cause remains a mystery. Your doctor might order a test called a bronchoscopy. This allows visual examination of your throat, airways and lungs for signs of blockages or disease.

In this routine test, a physician slips a flexible device called a bronchoscope through your nose or mouth, down your throat and into your lungs. At its tip, the bronchoscope is equipped with a light and camera. The bronchoscope has been used by doctors for decades, but physicians at Yale Medicine increasingly combine it with other imaging technology to gather more accurate information. “These additional tools can act like a GPS system to help us find a growth in the lungs, for example,” says Jonathan Puchalski, MD, a pulmonologist and director of Yale Medicine’s Interventional Pulmonology Program.

The bronchoscope can be used to visually examine airways and is helpful in figuring out the cause of abnormal “spots” or masses and other lung problems. A bronchoscope equipped with an ultrasound probe, called an endobronchial ultrasound, is used to used to obtain a biopsy sample to determine if cancer is present when lymph nodes are enlarged. Other probes use navigation similar to a GPS system to help diagnose lung problems.