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What Are the Risks of Bronchoscopy?

Bronchoscopy usually is a safe procedure. However, there's a small risk for problems, such as:

  • A drop in your oxygen level during the procedure. Your doctor will give you oxygen if this happens.
  • Minor bleeding and developing a fever or pneumonia.

A rare, but more serious side effect is a pneumothorax. 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 or may go away on its own. If it interferes with breathing, a tube may need to be placed in the space around the lungs to remove the air.

A chest x ray may be done after bronchoscopy to check for problems.

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Last Updated: February 8, 2012