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What To Expect After Bronchoscopy

After bronchoscopy, you'll need to stay at the clinic or hospital for up to a few hours. If your doctor uses a bronchoscope with a rigid tube, the recovery time is longer. While you're at the clinic or hospital:

  • You may have a chest x ray if your doctor took a sample of lung tissue. This test will check for a pneumothorax and bleeding. A pneumothorax is a condition in which air or gas collects in the space around the lungs. This can cause one or both lungs to collapse. Usually, this condition is easily treated.
  • A nurse will check your breathing and blood pressure.
  • You can't eat or drink until the numbness in your throat wears off. This takes 1 to 2 hours.

After recovery, you'll need to have someone take you home. You'll be too sleepy to drive.

If samples of tissue or fluid were taken during the procedure, they'll be tested in a lab. Talk to your doctor about when you'll get the lab results.

Recovery and Recuperation

Your doctor will let you know when you can return to your normal activities, such as driving, working, and physical activity. For the first few days, you may have a sore throat, cough, and hoarseness. Call your doctor right away if you:

  • Develop a fever
  • Have chest pain
  • Have trouble breathing
  • Cough up more than a few tablespoons of blood
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Last Updated: February 8, 2012