A laryngoscopy is an exam using a tool called a laryngoscope. It lets Dr Miller see the back of your throat, your voice box (larynx) and vocal cords.
A laryngoscopy can help identify the cause of:
- voice problems such as breathy, hoarse, weak or no voice
- throat or ear pain
- problems such as difficulty swallowing, feeling a lump in the throat, or bloody mucus.
A laryngoscopy can also be used to check for:
- throat injuries
- breathing difficulties such as narrowing of the throat or blockages in the airway.
A laryngoscopy can be done in office or in the hospital.
Dr Miller will use a flexible laryngoscope to see the back of your throat. He may give you a numbing spray or other medication to dry up your nose and throat. He will then put a flexible fibre-optic scope through your nose and gently down your throat. This procedure is done in-office.
Preparing for an in-office laryngoscopy
For in-office procedures using a flexible laryngoscope, please follow Dr Miller’s instructions. These may include:
- do not eat or drink anything before the procedure. This is to prevent vomiting.
- remove dentures before the examination.
Dr Miller also uses rigid scopes. A rigid scope can help remove foreign objects, perform biopsies, remove polyps, perform laser treatments and find cancer of the voice box. Rigid scopes are used in hospital-based procedures. You will need to be under general anaesthesia.
Preparing for an in-hospital laryngoscopy
Before surgery Dr Miller will need to know several things including:
- Are you allergic to any medicines, including anaesthetics?
- Are you taking any medications or herbal drugs?
- Do you have bleeding problems or take any blood-thinning medicine?
- Do you have a history of heart problems?
- Are you pregnant or likely to be pregnant?
- Have you had surgery or radiation treatments to your mouth or throat?
For the in-hospital procedure, please prepare as you would for a surgery. This includes making sure you:
- do not to eat or drink for 8 hours before the procedure.
- remove all jewellery, dentures and glasses.
- use the restroom before the surgery.
- plan to have someone drive you home after the procedure.
When you are asleep, Dr Miller will place the rigid scope in your mouth and down your throat. The procedure will take about 15–30 minutes. Afterwards, you will be in recovery until you are fully awake and able to swallow.
For more information about treatments and ways we identify throat problems, please book a consultation appointment.