A long term lung condition

Enquiries & Appointments

Tests and scans 1426756130.jpg

What is bronchiectasis?

In bronchiectasis the airways of your lungs widen, making them vulnerable to infection due to a build up of mucus. Bronchiectasis has different severity levels. You may experience a persistent cough or breathlessness as a result. Our respiratory experts can diagnose and treat you.

Need to know

  • persistent cough that brings up phlegm
  • shortness of breath/breathlessness
  • coughing up blood or blood-stained phlegm
  • chest pain and/or joint pain
  • the tissue around your fingertips and finger nails becoming thicker

Your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you and help to make a diagnosis. They will likely listen to your chest with a stethoscope, to assess if you have a chest infection. Other tests we offer to diagnose bronchiectasis include:

  • Chest X-ray or CT scan for a more in depth look at your lungs
  • Blood and phlegm tests to check for any bacterial infection
  • Lung function test
  • A sample of your sweat may be taken. High levels of salt in your sweat are a symptom of cystic fibrosis, a condition causing mucus to build up in your lungs
  • A bronchoscopy where a flexible tube with a camera is passed into your lungs and a tissue sample is taken.

Your consultant will discuss your treatment options and help to determine the best approach for you. Whilst damage to your lungs from bronchiectasis may be permanent, you can prevent the condition worsening. Treatment options might include:

  • antibiotic medication
  • bronchodilators (inhalers)
  • diet and exercise recommendations
  • stopping smoking if you smoke
  • nebulised medications to help clear your lungs 

In very few cases surgery may be required. Your lungs are made up of small lobes. If a lobe is affected by bronchiectasis may be removed. This is called a lobectomy.

Our locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Portland Hospital

The Portland Hospital

205-209 Great Portland Street W1W 5AH London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.