A laryngoscopy is an examination that allows your physician to see closely your larynx and throat. Larynx is your voicemail system. This is located on the top of your trachea.
It is important that you maintain a healthy larynx because it includes your vocal folds, or cords. The air flowing through your larynx and over the vocal folds makes them vibrate and generate sound. This allows you to speak.
A specialist called the “Ear, Nose and Throat Physician” (ENT) will conduct the examination. During the examination, your doctor places a little mirror in your throat, or insert a visualization instrument called a laryngoscope into your mouth. Sometimes They make the combination.
Why would I need a laryngoscopy?
Laryngoscopy is used for learning about a variety of throat conditions, including:
- throat pain
- bad breath
- persistent cough
- bloody cough
- difficulty swallowing
- persistent earache
- mass or growth in the throat
Laryngoscopy may also be used for the removal of a foreign body.
Preparing for a laryngoscopy
Discuss with your physician how they are going to carry out the procedure and what you need to do to get ready. Your physician will tell you to avoid eating and drinking for eight hours before the exam, depending on the type of anaesthesia you get.
If you receive a mild anesthetic, which is usually what you would get if the examination were done in your doctor’s office, it is not necessary to fast.
Do not forget to inform your doctor of the medicines you are taking. We could get you to stop making sure medications, including aspirin and certain anticoagulant medications such as clopidogrel (Plavix), until one week prior to the procedure. Consult your doctor to ensure that it is safe to stop any prescribed medication before taking it.
How does a laryngoscopy work?
Your physician can perform tests before laryngoscopy to get an idea of your symptoms. This test may include the following: (2)
- CT scan
- physical exam
- chest X-ray
- barium swallow
If your physician asks you to take a sip of barium, X-rays will be taken after you have drunk a liquid with barium. This item acts as a contrast material and makes it easier for your physician to see your throat. It is neither toxic nor dangerous and will pass through your system a few hours after swallowing it.
Laryngoscopy usually requires 5 to 45 minutes. Laryngoscopy tests have two types: indirect and direct.
As an indirect method, you sit directly in a high chair. Anaesthetic drugs or a local anaesthetic will generally be sprayed onto your throat. Your physician will cover your tongue with gauze and hold it so that it will not block their vision.
Then your physician will place a mirror in your throat and explore the surroundings. Maybe we should ask you to make a little noise. This is designed for moving the larynx. If a foreign body is in your throat, your physician will remove it.
Direct laryngoscopy may occur at the hospital or your doctor’s office, and generally you are completely sedated under the supervision of an expert. You may not feel the test if you are under general anesthetic.
A special small flexible telescope enters your nose or mouth and then drops into your throat. Your physician will be able to look through the telescope to obtain a near-larynx view. Your physician can take samples and remove outgrowths or objects. This test can be performed if you gag easily, or if your physician has to examine the more difficult areas in your larynx.
Interpreting the results
In the course of your laryngoscopy, your physician may collect samples, remove growths, or retrieve or extract a foreign body. You can also do a biopsy. After the surgery, your physician will discuss outcomes and treatment options or recommend you to a different doctor. If you have received a biopsy, it may take three to five days to know the results.
Are there any side effects from a laryngoscopy?
There is relatively little risk of examination-related complications. You may later experience minor irritation of the soft tissues of your throat, but this test is generally considered to be very safe.
Allow time for recovery if you are given general anesthesia in a direct laryngoscopy. It should take approximately two hours to dissipate, and you should avoid driving in this period. (1)
Speak with your physician if you are nervous about the test, and they will inform you of steps you should take in advance.