Bronchoscopy can be used to diagnose airways and lung abnormalities. If you have a chronic cough or you are coughing up blood, your doctor can perform a bronchoscopy to view the inside of your airways and therefore evaluate your lung symptoms. This examination can also be used when lung infections (eg. tuberculosis), lung cancer or scarring of the lung is suspected following x-ray examinations. When lung abnormalities are suspected, bronchoscopy allows tissue samples of the lungs to be collected from inside the lungs using biopsies or bronchoalveolar lavage.
Bronchoscopy also has therapeutic purposes. For example, it can be used to remove fluid or mucus, or possible foreign objects that could be obstructing your airways. It can also be used to insert a stent (hollow wire mesh tube) to widen narrowed airways and it also helps with laser tumour removal.