Preparing for bronchoscopy

A few general instructions follow to help you prepare for bronchoscopy.  It is most important for the patient who will undergo bronchoscopy to follow the particular set of instructions provided by the person performing the bronchoscopy.

Your medical history and your medication list:
Inform a member of the team performing the procedure of all of your medical problems, all of the medicines that you have been taking and if you have allergies. It is extremely important to mention any medication (over-the-counter and prescribed) that might increase your chance of bleeding such as aspirin, warfarin, coumadin, plavix, clopidogrel, Pradaxa, dabigatran, Xarelto, rivaroxaban, heparin, enoxaparin, or lovenox.  Bronchoscopy is sometimes performed in the Intensive Care Unit to obtain a specimen that will be tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes Covid-19 disease, to determine the cause of a patient's respiratory failure.

Discuss your medical history and concerns prior to procedure

Diabetes and Bronchoscopy
If you are diabetic it is important to speak with your doctor in advance of the procedure about how to manage your diabetes treatments before and after the day of the bronchoscopy.

Why you should not eat
You should not eat or drink anything for at least eight hours before the bronchoscopy.  Since you might cough during the procedure, it is important that you have an empty stomach during the procedure so that you do not inadvertently vomit.

Other arrangements
  • Empty your bladder before entering the endoscopy or bronchoscopy facility.
  • Arrange to have a responsible adult drive you home after the procedure.  Since most people are given given sedation during the procedure, it is ideal to have a similar-type adult person stay with the patient during the night after the procedure.