The safety and usefulness of fibreoptic bronchoscopy in the elderly was assessed retrospectively in 204 consecutive patients aged 70 and over. One third of patients were examined as day cases. A bronchial tumour was seen in 67% patients, and biopsies showed malignancy in 78% of these cases. Certain knowledge of a diagnosis of bronchial carcinoma helped in the management of the elderly patient. Fibreoptic bronchoscopy proved to be safe in the presence of marked ventilatory impairment. A prospective questionnaire study in 114 patients showed that most patients found the procedure acceptable and would agree to a repeat if necessary and this was largely independent of age.