To diagnose diseases of the bronchi and lungs, it is sometimes necessary to look into the respiratory system rather than rely on X-rays alone. A bronchoscope is a thin, flexible instrument that can be passed through the nose or mouth into the trachea and down the bronchi. During the examination you will probably receive a local anesthetic and a mild tranquilizer to alleviate the discomfort of the procedure. Samples of sputum can be obtained during the test, and tumors or other abnormalities can be seen and samples or biopsies taken.


The urinary tract can be investigated through intravenous pyelogram (IVP) X-rays and echograms and by urine tests. A cystoscopy may be done when there is bleeding from the urinary tract or difficulty with the passage of urine. It is more commonly necessary for men because of disorders of the prostate gland. A local anesthetic is usually used, although a cystoscopic examination is sometimes carried out under a general anesthetic. The procedure, which is somewhat uncomfortable, takes only ten or fifteen minutes and may have to be repeated. It is often possible to remove small tumors that grow in the bladder through the cystoscope, which means that surgery may be avoided.


Arthroscopy allows a physician to look inside a joint (such as the knee) and assess damage and diagnose certain rheumatic conditions and injuries. Sometimes surgical procedures and removal of damaged material can be done through the ar-throscope, thereby in some instances avoiding the need for surgery. The instrument (arthroscope) is inserted with little discomfort after preparation of the insertion site with local anesthetic.


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