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If you are experiencing problems with your voice, throat, or swallowing, your specialist may prescribe a laryngoscopy to help detect and diagnose the issue.

When is a laryngoscopy suggested? Your doctor may suggest a laryngoscopy to diagnose the following symptoms:

  • lingering cough
  • hoarseness
  • sore throat
  • voice change
  • difficulty swallowing
  • lump in the throat
  • breathiness
  • weak voice
  • loss of voice

Your specialist can detect laryngeal abnormalities in the vocal folds that include such masses as papillomas, nodules, cysts, polyps, and other anomalies. The laryngoscopy can also be a tool for taking a tissue biopsy to confirm or assess a cancer diagnosis.

The laryngoscopy is a simple procedure. A laryngoscope is a thin, flexible tube-like scope with a fiber optic cable. The scope is guided through the nose and to the larynx. Once in place, it allows your specialist (an ear, nose, and throat specialist or an otolaryngologist) to examine your nose, throat, and larynx to find the cause of your symptoms. A hard scope is sometimes used through your mouth to view vocal folds.

A laryngoscopy is performed using local anesthesia. Once the scope is in place, you may be prompted to speak or sing to help with diagnosis of vocal issues.  Photographs will be taken using the scope’s camera and the entire procedure should only last ten or 15 minutes.

If you are experiencing any voice or throat symptoms, talk to your doctor and see if a laryngoscopy is a good option for you for detection and diagnosis.


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