Fiberoptic bronchoscopy (1823)

Key points below

What is a bronchoscopy? 

A bronchoscopy is a test that lets your doctor look at your child’s airways in the lungs. A bronchoscopy is performed using a thin tube called a bronchoscope. 

What is a bronchoscope?

The bronchoscope is a flexible tube.  It has a light and camera on the end. This lets your doctor see all of the parts that make up your child’s airways.  

What is a bronchoalveolar lavage?

Sometimes samples of mucus are taken from the small airways. A small amount of salt water, called saline, is put through the bronchoscope. This rinses the airway.  The saline and mucus are suctioned back through the tube. Bronchoalveolar lavage is also called BAL.

What happens in the Pre-Op Area?

You will meet the doctor who will do procedure.  You will also meet with an anesthesiologist.  Your child will be given oral medicine to relax them. The medicine may also make your child sleepy.
What happens during the procedure?

In the Operating Room (OR):

What happens after the procedure?

Where do parents wait during the procedure? 

Parents may wait in the waiting room. When the test is done, you can stay with your child in the recovery room. Your child will need to stay in the recovery room for at least 2 hours after the procedure. 

What do I need to know before the test?  

If your child normally takes medicine in the morning, the pre-op nurses will tell you if you should give it on the day of the test.  If you give the medicine, give it with a very small sip of water or clear juice. 

Eating and drinking
If you do not follow these directions, the test may have to be cancelled. 

Newborn to 1 year old
Do not give your child any solid food 8 hours before the test.  
Do not give formula 6 hours before the test.
Your child may have breast milk until 4 hours before the test. 
Your child may have clear liquids until 2 hours before the test.

Children older than 1 year old
Do not give your child any solid food 8 hours before the test.
Your child may have clear liquids until 2 hours before the test.

Types of clear liquids to offer
Water, fruit juice, Kool-Aid®, and Pedialyte®.
No red or cloudy liquids.

What do I do on the day of the appointment?

What do I do when my child goes home?


Call your child’s doctor or Pulmonary nurse if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has:

  • Any problems with breathing within 24 hours after the test.
  • Special health care needs that were not covered by this information.

Pulmonary:  Monday – Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm: call (414) 266-6730
After hours, call (414) 266-2000 and ask to talk with the on-call Pulmonologist.