What are the indications for rigid bronchoscopy?
Usually by the time rigid bronchoscopy is considered, other tests may have already been performed that suggest a respiratory (breathing related) problem. Other times, respiratory symptoms continue to be present, although no reason can be found. Rigid bronchoscopy is very valuable in helping to diagnose these various respiratory symptoms and problems. Examples of these include STRIDOR (noisy breathing), chronic cough, HOARSENESS, asthma with unexpected symptoms (atypical asthma), and suspected foreign body evaluation. STRIDOR, depending on the type, is evaluated with rigid bronchoscopy to look at the anatomy, and flexible laryngoscopy to evaluate function. The rigid bronchoscope is more effective when removing lesions, performing biopsies (getting a sample of tissue), foreign body removal, and removing thick airway secretions (fluids) than the flexible bronchoscope. CO2 laser surgery must be performed with a laryngoscope or rigid bronchoscope. (Please see VOCAL CORD SURGERY for informat