During the procedure

The test needs to be done under sedation - a ‘cannula’ (plastic needle) will be inserted into your hand or arm to give you a sedative; this will make you feel comfortable and relaxed. Following sedation many patients may not remember anything about the test.

Some anaesthetic spray will be gently sprayed on the back of your throat, and some gel placed into your nostrils. There may be a different sensation to breathing and swallowing after this spray as the throat becomes ‘frozen’ – this is normal. You will be able to breathe and swallow normally, although it may feel different. You can cough and swallow if you wish during the test.

During the procedure you may feel slight discomfort as the bronchoscope is passed through your nose and down into your trachea (windpipe) and more local anaesthetic spray is used. This may make you cough, but this will quickly subside.

The procedure takes around 15-20 minutes, depending on how many samples are taken.