A bronchoscopy examination is a basic diagnostic procedure for the respiratory system. It involves using a thin and flexible endoscope inserted through the mouth or nose into the trachea and bronchial branches to observe and examine the patient’s lungs. Doctors can also use the endoscope to examine the lungs and airways. The patient does not require general anesthesia for the procedure but is typically given sedation anesthesia (medication that induces sleepiness and relaxation).
If you experience the following symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor and arrange for a referral to undergo a bronchoscopy examination:
The primary purpose of this examination is to diagnose the following health issues:
Additionally, bronchoscopy can be used to clear obstructive mucus and foreign bodies from the airways.
Bronchoscopy primarily involves examining the inner wall structures of the bronchial tubes, extracting tissue samples and secretions for analysis and laboratory testing. It can also investigate the causes of coughing up blood and identify the source of persistent lung infections. Bronchoscopy is commonly used for the diagnosis of lung cancer, especially when abnormalities are detected in the examined tissues, which enables prompt arrangement of follow-up treatments. The examination of extracted tissue typically takes 2 to 3 working days, and the results are explained to the patient by a specialist or attending physician.
Bronchoscopy is recommended as the diagnostic method for all suspected lung cancer patients. Its sensitivity for central airway lesions is around 88%, and the overall sensitivity for diagnosing peripheral diseases using all available methods is approximately 78%.
Based on the published fee references from major private hospitals in Hong Kong, the cost of bronchoscopy examination with or without tissue biopsy mainly depends on whether it is performed as a day procedure or requires hospitalization. The fees range from around HK$24,000 to the most expensive at approximately HK$54,000.
|Private Hospital||Day Procedure||Hospitalization|
|Saint Teresa’s Hospital||$24,803||$37,205|
|St. Paul’s Hospital||$31,065||$51,261|
|Hong Kong Baptist Hospital||$24,450||$46,330|
|Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong||$39,730||$43,956|
|Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital||$54,456||$54,456|
|Hong Kong Adventist Hospital – Tsuen Wan||$50,314||$50,314|
|Hong Kong Adventist Hospital||$28,141||$52,768|
All voluntary health insurance plans provide coverage for “bronchoscopy examination with or without biopsy.” According to the surgical schedule, this examination is classified as a minor procedure. Even the Bowtie VHIS Flexi Regular Plan provides coverage up to HK$6,000, while the plus plan offers coverage up to HK$9,000.
The Bowtie Pink VHIS Plan offers a deductible ranging from HK$0 to HK$80,000. Qualified items beyond the deductible, including bronchoscopy examination, are eligible for 100% reimbursement. The monthly premium can be as low as HK$257*. You can request a detailed quote for yourself or your family without the need to log in or create an account.
Bowtie provides a premium calculator that allows you to estimate monthly expenses for VHIS plans based on factors such as age, gender, and smoking habits:
Bowtie VHIS (Standard/Flexi) Calculator
Bowtie Pink Calculator
According to the examination instructions provided by Hong Kong Baptist Hospital, the entire process takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes and can be divided into four main parts:
According to the surgical information provided by Union Hospital, there are some notable points to be aware of before and after a bronchoscopy examination:
Due to the administration of sedative medication by the doctor before the procedure, patients rarely experience pain during the examination.
Doctors often use mild sedation medication. In some cases where the bronchoscopy is expected to be more complex or longer in duration, the doctor may opt for deeper sedation or even general anesthesia.
All procedures carry some degree of risk. In the period following the bronchoscopy, patients may experience mild coughing, throat discomfort, hoarseness, or blood-tinged phlegm. Doctors can prescribe medication to alleviate these symptoms. Other serious complications include irregular heartbeat, pneumothorax, respiratory tract infection, and bronchospasm.