Tag Archives: BAL

PUBLISHED: Flexible Bronchoscopy and Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL)

Flexible Bronchoscopy and Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL)
Marcus S. Alpert, MDYu Maw Htwe, MD
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Flexible bronchoscopy is a commonly utilized endoscopic procedure allowing for direct visualization of the airways, as well as a variety of therapeutic and diagnostic interventions. Common indications of flexible bronchoscopy include evaluation of pulmonary infiltrates, hemoptysis, airway obstruction, foreign body aspiration, tracheal stenosis, bronchopleural fistula, and post-lung transplant.

The procedure involves the insertion of a flexible bronchoscope through the vocal cords and into the lumen of the trachea and bronchi. Direct visualization is provided by fiberoptic video imaging. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) further refers to instillation and subsequent recovery of sterile saline into the airways. In this article, we will detail the technique, considerations, and complications of flexible bronchoscopy and BAL.