Are There Any Risks Or Complications With Bronchoscopy?

by Dr. Pavan Yadav

What are Bronchoscopy risks and potential complications?

Like any medical procedure, bronchoscopy carries some risks and potential complications. These can include:


There may be minor bleeding at the site where biopsies are taken or interventions are performed. In rare cases, significant bleeding may occur.


Though rare, there is a small risk of developing a lung infection after bronchoscopy.


There is a slight risk of perforation (puncture) of the airway or lung tissue during the procedure, particularly if therapeutic interventions are performed.

Breathing difficulties:

Some patients may experience temporary breathing difficulties or a drop in blood oxygen levels during the procedure, which is usually managed promptly by the medical team.

Allergic reactions:

Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to the sedatives, anesthetics, or contrast agents used during the procedure. It's important to note that these risks are relatively rare, and the benefits of bronchoscopy generally outweigh the potential complications.

How should I prepare for a bronchoscopy?

Preparing for a bronchoscopy procedure involves several steps to ensure a safe and successful experience.

Medication adjustments:

Inform your doctor about any medications you are taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements. Some medications may need to be adjusted or temporarily stopped before the procedure.


In most cases, you'll be asked to avoid eating or drinking anything for several hours before the procedure. Your doctor will provide specific fasting instructions.

Arrange transportation:

Since bronchoscopy is performed under sedation or anesthesia, you won't be able to drive yourself home afterward. Arrange for someone to accompany you to the procedure and drive you back home.

Inform your doctor about health conditions:

Let your doctor know if you have any health conditions, allergies, or previous adverse reactions to anesthesia or sedatives. This information will help them make appropriate decisions for your safety.

Dress comfortably:

Wear loose, comfortable clothing on the day of the procedure. Avoid wearing jewellery, contact lenses, or any accessories that may need to be removed.

Coordinate with your doctor:

Inform your doctor if you have a cold, fever, or respiratory infection before the procedure. They may need to reschedule it to a later date to ensure your safety and the effectiveness of the procedure.

Ask questions: If you have any concerns or questions about the bronchoscopy procedure, don't hesitate to ask your doctor or healthcare team. It's important to have a clear understanding of what to expect.