Laryngoscopy refers to a procedure used to view the inside of the larynx (the voice box).
Laryngoscopy - Description
The purpose and advantage of seeing inside the larynx is to detect tumors, foreign bodies, nerve or structural injury, or other abnormalities. Two methods allow the larynx to be seen directly during the examination. In one, a flexible tube with a fiber-optic device is threaded through the nasal passage and down into the throat. The other method uses a rigid viewing tube passed directly from the mouth, through the throat, into the larynx. A light and lens affixed to the endoscope are used in both methods. The endoscopic tube may also be equipped to suction debris or remove material for biopsy. Bronchoscopy is a similar, but more extensive procedure in which the tube is continued through the larynx, down into the trachea and bronchi.
Laryngoscopy - Preparation
Laryngoscopy is done in the hospital with a local anesthetic spray to minimize discomfort and suppress the gag reflex. Patients are requested not to eat for several hours before the examination.
Laryngoscopy - Aftercare
If the throat is sore, soothing liquids or lozenges will probably relieve any temporary discomfort.
Laryngoscopy - Risks
This procedure carries no serious risks, although the patient may experience soreness of the throat or cough up small amounts of blood until the irritation subsides.
A normal result would be the absence of signs of disease or damage.
An abnormal finding, such as a tumor or an object lodged in the tissue, would either be removed or described for further medical attention.