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Laryngoscopy is the visual exam of the voice box (larynx) and the vocal cords. There are two main kinds:
Indirect laryngoscopy—uses mirrors to examine the larynx and hypopharynx (a portion of the passageway to the lungs and stomach)
Direct laryngoscopy—uses a special instrument, most often a flexible scope
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Both are usually done in the office.
Laryngoscopy is used to examine and diagnose problems inside the throat. It is most often done:
- To diagnose the cause of a persistent cough, bloody cough, hoarseness, throat pain, or bad breath
- To evaluate reasons for difficulty swallowing
- To evaluate a possible cause for persistent earache
- To remove a foreign object
- To visualize a mass in the throat
If you are planning to have a laryngoscopy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
- Vomiting and gagging
- Excessive swelling or bleeding
- Cuts on the bottom of the tongue from stretching it over the teeth
- Bleeding from the nose if the scope is passed through the nose
- Anesthesia-related problems
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Increasing pain
- Coughing up, spitting out, or vomiting blood
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Hoarse voice
- Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting
In case of emergency, CALL 911.