Information for children, teenagers and families


A bronchoscopy test is procedure where a flexible camera tube is passed into the windpipe to look at the airways of the lung. The reason for carrying out a bronchoscopy in children with CF is to collect samples from the airways to see what bugs are present. This can help us work out what needs to be done if children are having chest exacerbations or have low lung function values despite the usual treatments with oral and intravenous antibiotics. The test is carried out in Oxford, usually as a day case procedure (no overnight stay) using general anaesthesia.

Instructions for children undergoing bronchoscopy


Having an empty stomach is essential for safe general anaesthesia. On the day of the bronchoscopy children can have a light breakfast upto, BUT NOT LATER THAN 8am. They can then have clear fluids (water) until 11.00am. After that they must have nothing by mouth.

Where to come

Children having bronchoscopy as a day case should come to the Day Unit on level 1 of the Children's Hospital in Oxford. They need to arrive by 11.00am. The bronchoscopy will be carried out sometime between 2pm and 4pm in the afternoon (depending on how busy the theatre is on that day). Children will need to bring plenty to do to keep themselves occupied while they wait. After they arrive they will be seen by the nurses on the Day Unit, by Dr Hull or Dr Ives and by the anaesthetist.

After the procedure

Children usually recover quickly after the bronchoscopy and will be ready to go home about an hour later. The samples collected at the bronchoscopy are sent to the lab to be cultured. Initial results will be available after 5 days. The NTM cultures (see the bugs page) can take upto 7 weeks to get the final report.