Bronchoscopy is a technique for examining the airways of the lungs. Using a flexible tube the width of a pencil (called a bronchoscope), physicians are able to explore the trachea, main stem bronchi, and some of the small bronchi. The bronchoscope has a video camera and a biopsy instrument on one end. You are admitted to special procedures and have an intravenous (IV) line placed. The doctor sprays numbing medicine into the back of your throat to make it easier for the bronchoscope to be placed. You will probably be given some medication through the IV to relax you as well. The doctor places the bronchoscope in your mouth and advances it into your throat and trachea. This procedure does not interfere with your ability to breathe. The doctor can see into your lungs by watching a screen that shows the view from the end of the bronchoscope. He can also take a sample of sputum or biopsy the lung tissue. At the end of the test the bronchoscope is removed. The test usually takes 30 minutes to one hour.