Bronchoscopy necessary?

My chest physician wants me to have a bronchoscopy. A CT scan shows I have a partially collapsed upper right lobe and minimal scarring. No bronchiectasis. I also have some pericardial effusion (fluid round the heart). He says he wants to flush out this fluid and see what it is.

I've had significant chest problems for the last 2 years ('pneumonia' 2011; dry coughing this summer). I was convinced there was an allergic component. Consultant poo-pood this, but raised IgE (allergy marker) proved me right - ha!

One problem is that I refuse to have this bronchoscopy conscious, even sedated - it's a phobia. Consultant is reluctant to do it under GA but isn't outright refusing. Meanwhile I also need a bladder biopsy under GA so am trying to get both procedures done together - but that's really another story. In any case, nothing is happening right now. It all seems to have stalled, despite repeated email nagging from me.

Given all this, I'm wondering if 'the team thinks' that I even NEED this bronchoscopy? Is there some other way of firmly establishing what's going on in my lungs? Or maybe even just eliminating possibilities?

Surely these lung issues are related to inflammation caused by whatever AI condition 'they' decide I've got 'today'? Currently diagnosed with definite APS (Hughes), maybe Sjogrens, question mark Lupus.

Or should I, instead, be pressing for the bronchoscopy precisely because it could help clarify the diagnoses???

5 Replies

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  • Hi Coppernob, can't really answer that question but can say that I had bronchoscopy a few years ago and was petrified! So they did it under IV Valium and I slept all through it and remembered nothing about it! Hope this might be something you could ask about......no general and hopefully give them a better idea of what's going on?

    Whatever you decide I wish you all the luck in the world. Love Beth.

  • The best way to see what really happen in any organ is to have a biopsy, I.e. take a tiny piece and analyse it. All the other tests are not as detailed. But the alternative could be that you ask for a treatment for what they know now and if the treatment doesn't alleviate, then move to more invasive procedures. The downside is that you might be taking meds that are not specific. At least they finally found something. And I had sedation before, you forget everything afterwards, brilliant.

  • Re sedation for bronchoscopy - are you aware of what's going on DURING the procedure? Including when they start waving their beastly tube at you? If I'm going to be completely oblivious before I even catch sight of their paraphernalia, I might be able to cope.

    But I'm still not entirely convinced a bronchoscopy is going to tell them/me everything we need to know anyhow.

  • Hi I've had 2 broncosopies, can't say as they were pleasant and really not looking forward to the day they tell me I need another!!! But I had both done under sedation and although I do remember what went on I don't recall seeing any of the equipment they used, although that could be because I kept my eyes closed throughout. They took biopsies with both and all I remember feeling was a slight tugging sensation certainly no pain.

    Good luck with whichever decision you make and I hope they give you a firm diagnosis

    Wendy x

  • OK, thanks Wendy, that's made my mind up - GA or not at all!

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