Having a laryngoscopy could give you long-term improvements.
Depending on how the problem with your voice box, your doctor may recommend a laryngoscopy
What is laryngoscopy?
A laryngoscopy is a quick procedure to look at your voice box (larynx) using a rigid telescope
What are the benefits to surgery?
If your doctor is concerned that you may have a problem in your larynx. A laryngoscopy is a good way of find out. However, if your surgeon does find a problem, they can perform biopsies (removing small pieces of tissue) to help make the diagnosis. For some people minor treatments can be performed at the same time.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
Unfortunately, there are no easier alternatives to examine your voice box in detail. If your doctor has recommended a laryngoscopy as it is the best way of diagnosing most problems with your larynx. In addition, your doctor will usually have looked at your larynx using a flexible telescope (endoscope) or a smaller rigid telescope.
What does the procedure involve?
This type of procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about 30 minutes. Your surgeon will begin by placing a rigid telescope (laryngoscope) into the back of your mouth to examine your larynx. In addition, your surgeon may be able to remove small problems from your larynx using surgical instruments or a laser. A benefit from this is that if you have a lump, they will be able to perform biopsies and take photographs to help make the diagnosis.
What complications can happen?
Before you book an appointment for this type of procedure, your surgeon should inform you about the specific complications for you to bear aware of.
- Sore throat
- Breathing difficulties or heart irregularities
- Making a hole in your tongue or the lining of your throat
- Damage to teeth or bridgework, or bruised gums
- Change in taste
- Developing a hoarse voice
- Airway fire, if oxygen in your airways catches fire during laser surgery
How soon will I recover?
On average, you will usually recover in about 2 hours. If your doctor performed a biopsy, you may need to stay overnight and wait until the next morning before being given a drink. You may need to rest your voice for the first few days. You should be able to return to work after a few days.
The healthcare team will tell you what was found during the laryngoscopy and discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need. Regular exercise should improve your long-term health. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
A laryngoscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if there is a problem with your larynx. To find out more call us on 0808 101 0337.
Author: Miss Ruth Capper MD FRCS (ORL-HNS)
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