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The technique employed in rigid bronchoscopy is fundamentally different from that required for the fiberoptic bronchoscope. The latter adapts to the airway’s anatomy. It´s flexibility allows it to follow the normal anatomic curvature of the tracheobronchial tree, and is ideal for exploring peripheral bronchi.

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Patient´s head toward the right
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Patient´s head toward the left

In rigid bronchoscopy, the anatomy must be adapted to the bronchoscope. This demands careful attention on the part of the bronchoscopist. One must constantly re-establish the working axis.
The position of the head is of particular importance. Turning the patient´s head toward the right allows access to the left main stem, while turning the head to the left allows access to the right bronchial tree.

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Lifting the head
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Lowering the head

Lifting the head will lower the tip of the bronchoscope, while lowering the head will elevate it. The key is to keep the bronchoscope and the airway in the same axis at all times.

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