New here, nervous about bronchial biopsy

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Hi I am Jennifer and live near Seattle, WA USA. Weather here is much like South of England where I lived for many years when I was young. 

I had my second CT of chest since DX of Bronchiectasis in January when I was very sick. Dr. now wants me to have a lung biopsy to see what we are dealing with. It is not cancer but she wants to find out which type I have. My sputum test came back negative for bacteria. 

Rather than make an appointment with the surgeon now, I want to talk to her first. I am 67 and won't live forever! Does it really matter to know which type I have?  Should I have just gone ahead and got the biopsy? Does it hurt? I don't know which type, probably the probe first. I hope anyway.

Thank you for any input you might have. Feeling a bit overwhelmed.  

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  • Posted

    Hi Jennifer I found out I ad bronchiectasis in Jan this yr the test I ad was ct scan breathing test barium swallow sorry not much helpIsometimes I grow bug in my sputum then another time nowt I take carbocistene 6 a day to help my sputum thinner I'm IN the UK so maybe we do test different to where u are but I sure there will be someone on ere wat going through like you ope u get reply real soon but I myself wud like to know Wat lung biopsy is good luck ope u get sorted real soon Cheers tony

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  • Posted

    Hi Jennifer . I was diagnosed 2.5 yrs ago . Last Oct at my regular check up , I saw a different doctor , who decided he wanted to do a Bronchoscopy with a wash out too . I went to have this procedure in December , where to cut a long story short , the sedation did not work & they abandoned the process as my heart rate was too high . I did put in a complaint . I've just seen another doctor at my check up , who said a Bronchoscopy should not of been prescribed in the 1st place .

    So Jennifer , if I were you , I would ask for a 2nd opinion to see if this is totally necessary . When I underwent my ordeal , I posted about it here , most people said they had had it done under a GA , mine was scheduled under sedation .

    good luck !! 

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  • Posted

    Hi Jjennifer,

    I'm 65 and have been diagnosed for a few years also.

    Opinions seem to differ on this procedure - I'd waited SO long to see a lung specialist and was so weary of feeling sick that I just went along with his decision and had a bronchcoscopy done last year.

    It was a fear of mine to have this done (and it happened to be on my birthday, haha...) It was under light sedation and although they said I wouldn't remember anything, I sure did,  I wouldn't call it painful but it was a bit uncomfortable.

    Most people seem to have no memory or complaints about having a bronchoscopy. Lungs get flushed and they take samples.

    It's  horrible feeling overwelmed but this I do find this site to be incredibly supportive and helpful.

    Best of luck with your decision.

    Judy,  sub tropical Australia smile

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  • Posted

    Hi Jennifer

    Is it the pulmo or gp/internist pushing for the tests? Hospital internists and my own all wanted it dine, but the pulmo says wait and see so I'm with him. I am already past the point of general anesthesia for anything other than life-saving surgery, per pulmo ,,, shoulda gotten that knee & my eyes done already, lol ,,, and that may be why some have light sedation and others GA for same procedure.

    I have also decided several years vack, in my 50s, that I could live with ambiguity rather than endless testing. I would ask what purpose would be served by any knowledge gained, and whether results sometimes come back as they did for my thyroid biopsy 5 yrs. ago: "insufficient cellular [material?] for a diagnostic finding" THAT was what made me decide i'd had enough of specialists for a while because of course that ENT wanted to needle my thyroid again. IF I ever have it done again, it won't be by him! They'd also just found spots on my lungs but I was told not to worry about them & have not, for 5 years I think.

    If the only purpose is data collection/satisfy doc's curiosity, i'd say adios.

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    • Posted

      Thanks to everyone who replied. I got an answer from my doctor about the reasoning. She said it is to know which treatment would be most effective as she is not sure if it is Fibrocystic or Sarcoidosis. She is referring me to a surgeon so I can talk more with him about the procedure. So I guess I will go. The treatments differ so I guess it is better to know? Part of me just wants to say to heck with it, use my flutter valve thingy with my new nebulizer and not do anything else. The nebulizer is helping.
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  • Posted

    My daughter has sarcoidosis and was persuaded to have a lung biopsy to confirm.  She has had constant chest pain since this procedure.  It required going in between the ribs and removing a sample for testing.  Don't know if your biopsy would be done the same way, but she would never have had it done if she had known.  Why not get a second opinion and learn more details about the procedure.  My daughter is 60 and now lives with more pain than she ever had before.  

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    • Posted

      Hi Jo Ann,

      Oh I wish you had written yesterday! How long ago was her biopsy? My thoracic surgeon called to schedule VATS lung biopsy today. I saw him last Friday. He says it isn't a long recovery time, did warn about pain. But I am just ready to find out what it is. I am fairly sure it is sarcoidosis as I am Northern European (British and Scandinavian) descent. My lungs are full, top to bottom with scarring so my GP and I figure I have had this for half my life (I am 67). I guess I am just ready to KNOW. So it will be soon. 

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