In order to view the interior of the airways for both diagnostic and therapeutic reasons, bronchoscopy is an endoscopic method. The airways are probed using a device called a bronchoscope, often through the nose or mouth but rarely through a tracheostomy. This enables the medical professional to look for anomalies including foreign objects, bleeding, tumours, or inflammation in the patient's airways. It is possible to collect samples from the lungs. Bronchoscopes can be made of stiff metal tubes with lighting fixtures attached or flexible optical fibre instruments with real-time video technology.The first bronchoscopy is credited to German laryngologist Gustav Killian, who carried it out in 1897. Killian extracted a pig bone using a stiff bronchoscope. Cocaine topical was used as a local anaesthetic during the surgery on an awake patient. Up until the 1970s, rigid bronchoscopes were the only ones utilised. In the 1920s, Chevalier Jackson improved the rigid bronchoscope, which he used to visually examine the trachea and mainstem bronchi. Jackson collaborated with the British laryngologist Victor Negus, who enhanced the look of his endoscopes and created the "Negus bronchoscope."

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