Pediatric Flexible Bronchoscopy Program

About Our Pediatric Flexible Bronchoscopy Program

The Pediatric Flexible Bronchoscopy is available for the diagnosis and treatment of a number of pediatric airway conditions. This procedure allows physicians to perform a direct visual examination of the vocal cords, upper airways and lungs. Common conditions investigated include those associated with noisy breathing and stridor, such as laryngomalacia, tracheobronchomalacia, and narrowing of the subglottic space. Flexible bronchoscopy is used for the work-up of recurrent pneumonia, persistent non-asthmatic wheezing, suspected airway compression, chronic cough, and suspected foreign body.  

What is a Bronchoscopy?

Bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows the physician to directly visualize the interior passageways of the lower respiratory tract through a bronchoscope (a long, narrow, fiberoptic, lighted tube inserted through the nose or mouth). With the bronchoscope, the physician can see the larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), bronchi (large airways to the lungs), and bronchioles (smaller branches of the bronchi).  

Flexible Bronchoscopy

With a flexible bronchoscope, the physician is able to visualize not only the tissue of the larger airways (trachea and bronchi), but also that of the smaller sections (bronchioles) as well. The design of the flexible bronchoscope is advantageous because it can be maneuvered into the smaller bronchioles, yielding more information about their condition than can be determined with a rigid bronchoscope. In addition, the flexible, fiberoptic bronchoscope has interior channels which increase the capabilities of treatment options, such as delivering oxygen, suctioning secretions, obtaining tissue samples (biopsy), instilling medications, and laser therapy.  

Reasons for the Procedure

A bronchoscopy may be performed for diagnostic and/or therapeutic reasons. Diagnostic indications may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Inflammation and infections such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, or fungal or parasitic lung infections 
  • Airway obstructions and/or strictures (narrowed areas)
  • Tumors or bronchial cancer
  • Interstitial pulmonary disease
  • Persistent cough or hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
  • Abnormal chest x-rays
  • Biopsy of tissue or collection of other specimens, such as sputum
  • Vocal cord paralysis
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage, or BAL (instilling fluid through the bronchoscope to aid in the diagnosis of certain lung disorders)    

Therapeutic uses of bronchoscopy may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Removal of secretions, blood, mucus plugs, or polyps (growths) to clear airways
  • Control bleeding in the bronchi
  • Removal of foreign objects or other obstructions
  • Laser therapy or brachytherapy (radiation treatment) for bronchial tumors
  • Stent placement (a device used to keep the airway open)
  • Draining of an abscess

Care Locations

  • K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center,
    1945 Route 33, Neptune, NJ 07753

Meet Our Team

Dadzie, Charles K M.D.
Pediatrics - Critical Care Medicine

Nakhleh, Nader J D.O.
Pediatrics - Pediatric Pulmonology

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