Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL)

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Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL)

What are bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)?

Bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows a health care provider to look at your lungs. It uses a thin, lighted tube called a bronchoscope. The tube is put through the mouth or nose and moved down the throat and into the airways. It helps diagnose and treat certain lung diseases.

Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is a procedure that is sometimes done during a bronchoscopy. It is also called bronchoalveolar washing. BAL is used to collect a sample from the lungs for testing. During the procedure, a saline solution is put through the bronchoscope to wash the airways and capture a fluid sample.

What happens during bronchoscopy and BAL?

Bronchoscopy and BAL are often done by a pulmonologist. A pulmonologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating lung diseases.

A bronchoscopy usually includes the following steps:

During a BAL: