Laryngoscopy or “Laryngos” can be described as a technique employed to examine the throat, where the larynx–the voice box which has the vocal cords is found and the upper airway.
It is done using a video laryngoscope, which is a viewing device, consisting of a long tube that has an eyepiece, lenses, and its fiberoptic light source. The laryngoscope is passed either through the mouth or nose into the throat. Laryngoscopy or laryngos is a diagnostic technique to examine the larynx (voice box) through a video laryngoscope. It consists of direct, indirect, flexible, and other types. Laryngoscopy costs higher in the U.S but we can provide you other places to get the technique at a cheaper rate.
Laryngoscopy may appear scary but it is quite painless.
They are different kinds of laryngoscopy and they include:
- Direct laryngoscopy
This is a technique that allows the doctor to examine deeper the throat using a flexible or rigid telescope. Although, the rigid telescope is often used, especially in the case of stridor- a condition of a person having nosing breathing and also in removing foreign objects in the throat. It also helps in laser treatment and detecting cancer of the larynx
- Indirect laryngoscopy
This involves the use of a small hand that could be held at the back of the throat the doctors usually aims light at the back of the throat by using a headgear that has a bright light, in performing the examination. This method is not deployed in treating kids because it tended to cause gagging.
Indirect laryngoscopy can be performed using local anesthetic.
- Flexible laryngoscopy
This technique almost takes the pattern of direct laryngoscopy. It also gives the doctor a deeper assessment of the throat and its surrounding tissues helping the doctor detect abnormalities and cancerous growth. It employs the use of a flexible laryngoscope and is done under general anesthesia. The images gotten could be displayed on the screen for the family members to see what the doctor is seeing.
Why Is It Done?
Laryngoscopy is a treatment employed by most ENT doctors in the treatment of abnormalities affecting the throat or larynx, hence, the need to know the reasons for doing it.
Laryngoscopy is done for the following reasons:
- To examine a bleeding throat.
- To ascertain the cause for hoarseness and pain in the throat.
- Investigating swelling, irritation, and inflammation of the throat.
- Check voice problems.
- Use to examine for cancerous growth.
- Use to get samples for biopsies.
- Used to check for object swallowed mistakenly.
- Diagnose blockage and difficult swallowing.
Who Can Get A Laryngoscopy?
Anyone with an issue in the throat or with difficulty swallowing. Your doctor might recommend a laryngoscopy.
Laryngoscopy can also be carried out on children.
What Is The Procedure Of Laryngoscopy?
You will be cross-examined by your surgeon and your medical history will be checked. You and your surgeon will discuss the possible risk involved with and you and get your consent. You will be advised to stay clear from smoking.
After you have the examination and are recommended for a laryngoscopy, a computerized tomography scan may be carried out. It can do in the doctor’s office (informal laryngoscopy) or operating room, as in the case of flexible laryngoscopy and direct laryngoscopy.
- Local or general anesthesia may be administered.
- In indirect laryngoscopy, a warm mirror is placed at the back of the throat and with a headgear light, will tilt the mirror to several points of the throat, with the person making either high or low sounds, so that the larynx can be viewed.
- In a flexible and direct method, the laryngoscope is inserted through the nose or mouth and the larynx is viewed with surrounding tissues in the throat.
The indirect method may take up to 5 to 10 minutes while the flexible and direct method may take up to 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the investigation to be carried out, it might take longer than that.
You are moved to the recovery room for recuperation and to rest. Pain relief medications are administered. You will be advised not to drive within 24 hours due to the effect of the anesthesia. In the case of biopsy, you might be asked not to speak for at least 48 hours, so the vocal cord can heal.
What Is The Recovery Rate?
You might still experience numbness in the throat, this will clear on its own. You should not take anything until you feel the numbness no more.
You will be advised not to drive within 24hours as You might still experience slight nausea and general muscle weakness but it will clear within a day or two.
You might be given pain medication to reduce occasional pains and may still have noisy breathing for a few days. If noisy breathing persists after several days, consult your doctor.
Most importantly, follow all the doctor’s instructions and keep your regular visit to the hospital for check-ups.
The possible complications of laryngoscopy may include:
- Laryngospasm; pains in the voice box
- Edema; blood clots that flow into the pulmonary tract which can block it.
- Noisy breathing.
- If your airway or larynx was damaged during the examination, you will be admitted for further treatment.
How Much Does Laryngoscopy Cost?
Laryngoscopy cost depends on some factors, which includes:
- The method of laryngoscopy to be employed.
- The investigation to be done.
- The country, hospital, and/or surgeon.
The cost of laryngoscopy in the U.S ranges from $300 to $100. It could be lesser in other countries such as India, Turkey, Thailand, Dubai, etc.