Bronchoscopy with Lavage
Alternate Names : BAL
A bronchoscopy with lavage is a test done with a thin, flexible fiber-optic tube called a bronchoscope. The tube is inserted through the nose or mouth into the lung. Lavage is the term for washing out the lungs with saline fluid. In addition, a tissue sample can be removed for study, or biopsied, if necessary.
Who is a candidate for the test?
This test is performed when lung disease, a tumor, or an obstruction are suspected.
How is the test performed?
With the person relaxed and lying down on a table or bed, a local anesthetic is sprayed into the throat and a mild sedative is given. When the throat is numb, the bronchoscope is inserted through the nose or mouth into the bronchi, or large airways in the lungs. Once the tube is in the lung, a small amount of fluid is sprayed into the lung. The fluid is then removed and sent to the laboratory for analysis. Respiratory tissues can then be observed and biopsied.