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What is a bronchoscopy?

A bronchoscopy is an examination that allows your doctor to see inside your airway. The doctor uses a soft, thin, flexible tube (bronchoscope) to look at the voice box and air tubes in the lung to find the cause of any lung problems you may have. Small samples of tissue and cells may be removed and sent for tests.

Prior to your procedure


  • Please confirm your booking five days prior to procedure by phoning 07 3163 8444 (Monday to Friday between 8.30 am and 4 pm).
  • Discuss with your doctor which medications you will need to stop prior to your procedure (e.g. Aspirin, iron, diabetic medications, anti-inflammatory medications). It is important that you mention all medications you take in case special precautions are required.
  • Arrange for someone to take you home from hospital. Please bring their contact details to hospital with you (we do not have waiting areas for friends and relatives in the unit). If you are catching a taxi please arrange someone to accompany you home. They will need to collect you from the Day Procedure Unit, Level 5, Mater Hospital Brisbane.

On the day of your procedure please bring

  • your Medicare Card
  • a completed registration form
  • any medications that you may need to take after your procedure (e.g. aspirin, iron, diabetic medications, anti-inflammatory medications)
  • relevant X-rays or CT scans as your doctor may need them.

Please do not bring any valuables or wear any jewellery when you come to hospital.

On arrival to Mater Hospital Brisbane please report to the admissions desk on Level 5, Day Procedure Unit.

On your admission your nurse will explain the procedure fully to you and answer any of your questions and concerns. Before the procedure begins, you may be given a medication (via an injection in your vein) that will help you relax and reduce coughing and throat irritation.

Sometimes you will not remember having the bronchoscopy because of the sedative. Your nose and throat may be sprayed with local anaesthetic to make them numb. The bronchoscope will be passed through the mouth or nose down through the voice box into the air tubes. The bronchoscope does not stop your normal breathing. You may cough but this normally settles once the local anaesthetic takes effect. Your procedure will take about 30 minutes to one hour.

After your procedure

After your procedure you will be observed for a minimum of two hours. The medication you have received will alter you awareness and slow down your responses. Your recovery time will depend on your response to the procedure. There will be a nurse in attendance during this time. You will also be given oxygen for approximately two hours after your procedure.

  • You should not eat or drink anything for two hours after the procedure because your throat muscles will still be numb.
  • Your doctor may visit to discuss things with you after your procedure. However, if you are still feeling drowsy, your results will be discussed with you at your follow-up appointment.
  • A follow-up appointment will be made prior to discharge and you will be given both a written and a verbal explanation of possible complications by the nursing staff.

What to expect after your bronchoscopy

  • a slight throat irritation
  • a small amount of bleeding (this should cease within six hours)
  • a slight fever for 24 hours after a bronchial lavage
  • being unable to recall the procedure.

What to avoid

For at least 24 hours after your procedure you should not

  • drive a car, motorcycle or ride a bicycle
  • drink any alcohol
  • make any decisions or sign important papers
  • walk home
  • use hazardous machinery including the stove
  • engage in sports or heavy lifting for 48 hours
  • travel alone by public transport (bus, train or plane).


Please contact either:

  • your general practitioner (GP)
  • Mater Hospital Brisbane Procedure Unit on 07 3163 8324
  • Mater Hospital Brisbane Emergency Department on 07 3163 8111

immediately if you experience any of the following after discharge:

  • chest pain
  • persistent bleeding or breathlessness which is not normal
  • persistent fever or feeling unwell in any way.

Mater Hospital Brisbane

Mater Hospital Brisbane is one of Brisbane's leading health facilities for non-insured patients. It is built on a foundation of clinical excellence and a commitment to safe, compassionate care that is:

  • quality focused
  • technologically advanced
  • customised to patients' needs and lifestyles.

Mater Hospital Brisbane provides a wide range of surgical, medical and cancer services to non-insured patients. It features a 24-hour emergency department, intensive and coronary care units, day surgery, day oncology, day respite and busy medical, cancer and surgical units.

The hospital's Division of Medicine offers specialist services in repiratory medicine, endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, cardiology, infectious diseases, dermatology, rheumatology, general surgery and medicine.

Modern facilities accommodate inpatients, outpatients and day-only patients. General surgery is complemented by recognised surgical expertise in women's health, orthopaedics, urology, ophthalmology, vascular surgery, oral/faciomaxillary surgery, colorectal surgery, plastic surgery, ear nose and throat surgery and dermatology.

While in hospital, patients also have access to a range of allied health practitioners (dietitians, physiotherapists, etc.), pharmacy, hairdressing and chaplaincy services.

For more information about Mater Hospital Brisbane please phone 07 3163 8111.

Mater Hospital Brisbane
Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane Q 4101

Telephone: 07 3163 8111


Staff at Mater Hospital Brisbane, Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane Q 4101

© 2010 Mater Misericordiae Ltd ACN 096 708 922.

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-420008
Last modified 02/9/2021.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 19/7/2014
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.
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