Flexible bronchoscopy allows visual inspection of the airways and can be used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Indications for diagnostic bronchoscopy are abundant and include evaluation of symptoms such as cough or haemoptysis, evaluation of clinical findings such as suspected malignancy or pneumonia of unknown aetiology and early detection of lung cancer. In addition, several therapeutic modalities are at the disposal of the bronchoscopist and many more are currently under development. Prerequisites for performing flexible bronchoscopy are good knowledge of the patient, equipment and sedation techniques as well as skill in handling the bronchoscope, performing sampling techniques and managing complications. Although bronchoscopy can be performed with only topical anaesthesia, it is an unpleasant examination and sedation should be offered to the patient. Specific precautions are necessary for adequate and safe sedation.