Laryngoscopy is an examination a doctor uses to look at the back of the throat, including the voice box (larynx) and vocal cords. Your doctor will be using a flexible tube with a light to look directly at these areas. Your nose will be swabbed with a Licocaine Jelly and your throat will be sprayed with Cetacaine, which are topical anesthetics. The Cetacaine spray may cause a mild to moderate burning sensation.
The examination is done with you in a semi-sitting position. A flexible tube is passed through the nasal passages and your physician will advance it slowly to look at your vocal cords. You may experience some gagging and/or coughing during examination. After the exam is complete your physician will explain his findings to you. You may experience a slight sore throat or some hoarseness following the procedure and it will be two to three hours before you can eat or drink.
Before a laryngoscopy is performed, please advise your physician, nurse, or respiratory therapist if you:
- Are allergic to any medications, including anesthetics.
- Are taking any medications.
- Have any bleeding problems or take blood-thinning medications.
- Are or might be pregnant.
This procedure carries no serious risks, although you may experience soreness of the throat or cough up small amounts of blood until the irritation subsides. Laryngoscopy is usually a very safe procedure. Although complications don’t occur very often, you should discuss the risks in your particular case with your doctor.