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to not have a bronchoscopy because I'm too scared?

32 replies

ChickChickChickChicken · 20/06/2013 21:11

I've nc as I may out myself in rl and have written some personal things here.

Consultant has given me a choice of a bronchoscopy or trying long term antibiotics until one works (for a persistent cough)

He suggests the bronchoscopy.

I'm frightened.

Anyone had one? Is it as bad as it sounds? Should I bite the bullet or avoid like the plague?


OP posts:

mignonette · 20/06/2013 21:18

Make sure they sedate you well. Some units will try to avoid it and the real reason behind this is that it costs more to keep you on unit until the sedation has worn off.

They will spray your throat with a local anaesthetic too. This will help.

Take somebody with you to accompany and drive you home.

Ask your GP for a mild sedative/hypnotic to help you sleep the night before you have it.

Tell the staff you are very very scared to the point of refusing this.

A Bronchoscopy is not something I would choose to have, no. It is a scary thought and yes, they can make you feel a little panicky at the beginning of insertion if you have not been sedated. But properly medicated, patients get through it and many say it is not as bad as they feared.

Discuss again with your GP especially regarding help with your understandable anxiety over it.

Good luck


Hardhaton · 20/06/2013 21:19

I'm assuming this is putting a camera in and taking a look at the lungs.


foolonthehill · 20/06/2013 21:22

it is not as bad as it sounds. The tube is small and flexible. they spray the back of your nose /mouth to help it down. It's not the worst thing I've had done by any means and it gives quick answers.

The long term antibiotics may not work and then you'd end up needing the bronchoscopy anyway.


mummymeister · 20/06/2013 21:22

agree with mignonette. with the right amount of sedation it will be fine and tbh if you are going to go for the antibiotics then all you are doing is pushing the need for the bronchoscopy down the road. for peace of mind please set your fears aside and have it done. it will tell them so much about what is going on with you and would only be advised if they really thought you needed it. bite the bullet please and have it done. I am so pleased that I did and it certainly wasn't as unpleasant as a visit to the dentist imo.


Themobstersknife · 20/06/2013 21:25

I have had one. Nowhere near as bad as it sounds. Unpleasant and uncomfortable but not undoable. I would choose this over long term antibiotics every single time, because I have seen the impact of antibiotics on me and my baby, and they are horrible things.


ChickChickChickChicken · 20/06/2013 21:27

Yes a camera to look in the lungs.

Just think that I'll just end up on antibiotics anyway.

Maybe 6 weeks of antibiotics is worth a try before I do this.

I forgot to ask does it go via your nose or mouth?

Thankyou your replies are really comforting. I know lots of people who've had endoscopies but no one whose had this.

OP posts:

tudorrose · 20/06/2013 21:30

My DD3 has had a several as she has CF and it's a good way of finding out exactly what is going on in her lungs. She is 5 and isn't worried by them now.

Have it done, it really won't be as bad as you think. Mummymeister is right, going to the dentist is much much worse!


ChickChickChickChicken · 20/06/2013 21:30

But I think I'm going to end up with a long course of antibiotics anyway Themobstersknife...Sad

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Themobstersknife · 20/06/2013 21:38

Oh sorry chickchick! That is poo.
Although I was thinking you meant longer than 6 weeks. I was on them for at least double that, and my baby had a bad reaction when she was on them but that was prob because she was v young and teeny tiny. At the end of the day, you just need to do what you need to do to get well. I have had a horrid chronic cough before and it is no fun so whatever it takes to solve it. I assume you have tried anti-histamine to ease your cough?


Themobstersknife · 20/06/2013 21:38

I had it through my nose by the way. Unpleasant but not painful.


mignonette · 20/06/2013 21:40

Please get it looked at. You can always run away at the last minute Smile but make the appointment, get some help from your GP and try to go. Take a friend though....


Jestrin · 20/06/2013 21:43

The anticipation is probably worse. Ask for a sedation and tell them your fears but at the end of the day, the bronchoscopy will say what's causing the cough. Good luck OP Flowers


ChickChickChickChicken · 20/06/2013 21:49

Thanks all for your encouragement. I'm going to sleep on it but feel happier that I can go through with it if necessary xx

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BlossomBear · 20/06/2013 22:38

Always better to get it checked out just make sure you get the sedation, and good luck .


Kundry · 20/06/2013 23:02

Yes but if you have the bronchoscopy they'll be the right antibiotics as the doctor will actually know what's wrong with you. At the moment he is just stabbing about in the dark - antibiotics might be completely the wrong treatment.

You need a diagnosis to get better. Say you are very nervous and want sedation.


lovesfastcars · 20/06/2013 23:16

I have never had a bronchoscopy, but both my mum and dad have. Mum was bricking it, but found it much better than she was expecting.
She had it through the nose with local anaesthetic spray, but also had a sedative to relax her. She hardly remembered having it done afterwards, and her breathing was loads better as they did a sort of wash out and got rid of a load of gunk that was at the bottom of her lungs.
They also took some painless samples which helped them to identify the right antibiotics to take.
Her breathing really improved quite quickly.
Good luck


ChickChickChickChicken · 21/06/2013 10:10

Thats a really helpful post fastcars. Bricking it is a very accurate description! Did she end up with a long course of antibiotics? Is she sorted out now?

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MerryOnMerlot · 21/06/2013 10:22

My DS has had quite a few but always under general rather than local. Doesn't even get nervous now, possibly because he gets a day off school!

Get it done - from what others have said it sounds uncomfortable at worst and will enable DRs to tailor your treatment far more successfully.


Roshbegosh · 21/06/2013 10:24

Do it. Is it the procedure or the possible results that scare you?


MotherofDragons82 · 21/06/2013 10:29

Do it! Nowhere near as bad as I was expecting. And I was pregnant at the time, so had it without the sedative, just with a bit of the throat spray.

The most unpleasant part is getting the tube through the back of your nose. Once it's through there it's fine, and then it's a bit uncomfortable having it taken out again. While the samples were being taken I couldn't feel a thing, despite not having the sedative.
It's not painful, just uncomfortable.

Have you ever had a coil fitted? Totally different area, of course, but similar in terms of discomfort, IMO. If you have, you'll understand when I say it's not painful per se.
And afterwards I was totally fine. Thought my nose/throat would be sore, but nothing. Get on with it!


Latara · 21/06/2013 11:13

I think you should have the Bronchoscopy because you need to; but i totally understand you being scared.

I had a Gastroscopy and was shaking with nerves but i asked for sedation and it was fine.

It will be over quicker than you think and you will get the correct diagnosis and more accurate treatment for that diagnosis. Go for it!



lovesfastcars · 21/06/2013 12:04

Hi Chick
Yes she had some sort of infection and had been coughing and breathless with chest pains for quite a long time.
They gave some strong antibiotics and some steroids I think. They were worried she had cancer or TB but luckily not.
Much better now, and breathing was a lot clearer next day.
Verdict..... Really not a big deal and well worth having.
All the best


josephinebruce · 21/06/2013 14:11

It is not pleasant, but then the longer you are on antibiotics the higher the chance of whatever infection you have becoming resistant and then a bronchoscopy will be the least of your problems. Sorry.

The other issue is that if you have a viral infection - and they can go on forever - then no amount of antibiotics will help as they don't work against viruses.

Your GP is actually the one who I think is BU as, unless there is an underlying medical condition like CF, s/he should not be prescribing you that amount of antibiotics anyway.

It is miserable having a cough for so long and I hope you feel better soon. x


hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman · 21/06/2013 14:24

Watching with interest as my 23yr old DD has been on prophylactic antibiotics for over a year now, they worked at first but she now back to having infections every month so she is on endless courses of antibiotics and steroids. We're back to see her consultant soon for more tests but so far they haven't done a bronchoscope (but it has been mentioned).


ChickChickChickChicken · 21/06/2013 14:35

OMG Dragons I can't believe you had it done without sedation! Respect!

Hellhasnofury thats awful (Its awful for me but at least I'm a lot older) is there an underlying factor like asthma that is causing this to happen? I will update later although I think there may be a wait for the procedure and then a further wait for results.

Josephine it is a consultant in resp medicine not the GP but yes I def know what you mean about the resistance. Doesn't appear to be a virus though as it does improve significantly with antibiotics but then comes back within a few weeks [ARGGHH]

Glad to hear your Mum is improved fastcars long may it last.

Thanks again all!

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