Bronchoscopy in Children: What to Expect at Home

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Your Child's Recovery

Bronchoscopy (say "brawn-KOSS-kuh-pee") lets a doctor look at your child's airway through a tube called a bronchoscope. Afterward, your child may feel tired for 1 or 2 days. Your child's mouth may feel very dry for several hours after the procedure. Your child may also have a sore throat and a hoarse voice for a few days. To help soothe the sore throat, children age 4 and older may suck on throat lozenges. Children age 8 and older can gargle often with warm salt water.

If a sample of tissue (biopsy) was taken, your child may spit up a small amount of blood or have bloody saliva. This is normal.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each child recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to help your child get better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for your child at home?


  • Have your child rest when he or she feels tired. Getting enough sleep will help your child recover.
  • Have your child avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, until the doctor says it is okay.


  • Your child can eat a normal diet. If your child's stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
  • If it is painful for your child to swallow, start out with cold drinks, flavored ice treats, and ice cream. Next, try soft foods like pudding, yogurt, canned or cooked fruit, scrambled eggs, and mashed potatoes. Have your child avoid eating hard or scratchy foods like chips or raw vegetables. Avoid orange or tomato juice and other acidic foods that can sting the throat.
  • Have your child drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated (unless the doctor tells you not to).


  • Your doctor will tell you if and when your child can restart his or her medicines. The doctor will also give you instructions about your child taking any new medicines.
  • Be safe with medicines. Give pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask the doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • If you think pain medicine is making your child feel sick to his or her stomach:
    • Give the medicine after meals (unless the doctor has told you not to).
    • Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
  • If the doctor prescribed antibiotics, give them to your child as directed. Do not stop giving them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child passes out (loses consciousness).
  • Your child coughs up large amounts of bright red blood.
  • Your child has severe trouble breathing.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child coughs up more than ½ cup of blood.
  • Your child has pain that does not get better after he or she takes pain medicine.
  • Your child has a fever over 100°F.
  • Your child still sounds hoarse after a few days.
  • Your child has bubbles under the skin around the collarbone. These may crackle and pop when you press on them.

Watch closely for any changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor about any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.