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What Are the Risks of Bronchoscopy?

Bronchoscopy is a safe procedure, and complications usually are minor. They might include:

  • A drop in your oxygen level during the procedure. Your doctor will give you oxygen if this happens.
  • Minor bleeding, infection, and fever.

A rare, but more serious risk is a pneumothorax (noo-mo-THOR-aks), or collapsed lung. In this condition, air collects in the space around the lungs, which causes one or both lungs to collapse.

A small pneumothorax might go away on its own. However, if it interferes with breathing, your doctor may use a chest tube to remove the air.

After bronchoscopy, your doctor may suggest that you have a chest x ray to check for complications.

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Bronchoscopy Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Bronchoscopy, visit

February 08, 2012 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.