• Follow us on



What is a bronchoscopy?

It is a test which enables the doctor to look at your child’s airway (back of throat, larynx and bronchi) while they are asleep.

A flexible tube is inserted either by mouth or nose down the back of the throat into the lungs.

A bronchoscopy can help in making the diagnosis of your child’s breathing problems and in planning appropriate treatment. It also allows specimens to be taken for testing.

How long will it take?

The procedure takes about 45 minutes. This includes the anaesthetic, procedure and time spent in the recovery room. Your child will be required to stay in the Day Unit for approximately four hours post procedure.

What happens when my child comes back?

On return to the Day Unit, your child may be upset and confused and will usually respond to your comforting them. They may be thirsty which will add to their discomfort.

When can my child eat and drink again?

You will be informed when you can start to give your child a drink; this is usually 60 minutes post procedure.

Whilst in theatre your child’s throat is sprayed with a local anaesthetic which takes time to wear off.

If your child uses a dummy or soother, this can be used. Once your child is drinking, they will be allowed some light food that the ward will provide.

The IV drip will stay in until your child is ready to go home. 

When will I be able to take my child home?

Most children are able to return home four hours after the procedure. Your child will need to have been reviewed by the doctor, be tolerating food, and returned to normal behaviour.

Some children may need to stay overnight. The most common reasons that your child may not be able to go home are:

  • temperature post procedure
  • breathing difficulties
  • not taking diet and fluids
  • needs to continue treatment for a period after the bronchoscopy due to findings.

The nurses in the ward will discuss any changes to the discharge plan.

Care at home

High temperature

If your child develops a temperature please go to your closest hospital that treats children or contact your doctor.

Pain relief

Your child may experience discomfort in their throat. Simple pain relief such as paracetamol can be given as advised by the instructions on the packaging. If your child requires additional pain relief, check with your child's doctor before giving. 


It is not uncommon for children to vomit once returning from hospital. If your child is vomiting, give sips of clear fluid and dry toast or biscuits and increase amounts as tolerated until vomiting settles. If vomiting continues seek medical advice.


Your child should have a quiet day after the procedure and resume normal activities the following day.

Emergency contact

To ensure your child receives the best possible care in an emergency; you should call 000 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

If you have any concerns or questions please contact your doctor.

Contact Mater Children’s Private Brisbane

Salmon Building

Raymond Terrace

South Brisbane QLD 4101

Telephone: 07 3163 8111


Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-470036
Last modified 29/4/2020.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 23/10/2019
For further translated health information, you can visit healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/ supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that offers a range of patient information in multiple languages.
Share this pageAdd to Twitter Add to Facebook Add to LinkedIn Add to Google Bookmarks

Mercy. Dignity. Care. Commitment. Quality