may be used for a laryngoscopy. Local anesthesia will numb the throat. With general anesthesia, you will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
During either type of laryngoscopy, photographs may be taken.
You will sit up straight in a high-back chair. A headrest will push your head and jaw forward. The anesthesia will be sprayed into your throat. You will need to gargle it and spit it out. Your tongue will be covered with gauze and held by the doctor. You will then need to breathe through your mouth as if panting. A warm mirror will be held at the back of the throat. The doctor will ask you to make an "eee" sound. The doctor will watch the larynx as you make the noise. If there is a foreign object, such as a chicken bone, it can be removed then.
Direct Fiberoptic Laryngoscopy
The direct method is most often done after the indirect method. The direct method will allow the doctor to see a greater area. The direct method may also be used if your gag reflex did not allow a thorough exam during the indirect method. A special scope will be inserted through your nose or mouth and into your throat. Through an eyepiece on the scope, the doctor will examine the larynx. The doctor may then collect specimens, remove growths, or retrieve a foreign object trapped in the throat. This method is often done in the operating room under general anesthesia or in the office under local anesthesia.
How Long Will It Take?
An indirect laryngoscopy only takes a few minutes. A direct laryngoscopy takes about 5–45 minutes, depending on the problem.
Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during the procedure. With a direct method, you may have a sore throat for a few days if a biopsy was done.
If any tissue was removed, it will be sent to be examined.
Be sure to follow your doctor's
instructions, which may include:
Do not smoke for 24 hours after the procedure. Smoke irritates the throat.
Do not try to swallow until your gag reflex returns. Spit out saliva and secretions. The gag reflex should return in about two hours. At this time, throat lozenges or a liquid gargle will help decrease hoarseness and throat irritation. Drinking water is encouraged.
If a biopsy was taken, avoid clearing your throat or coughing.
The doctor may discuss the results and treatment options or refer you to a specialist. Biopsy results may take about 3-5 days.
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Coughing up, spitting out, or vomiting blood
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a