Laryngoscopy is an exam of the back of your throat, including your voice box (larynx). Your voice box contains your vocal cords and allows you to speak.
Laryngopharyngoscopy; Indirect laryngoscopy; Flexible laryngoscopy; Mirror laryngoscopy; Direct laryngoscopy; Fiberoptic laryngoscopy; Laryngoscopy using strobe (laryngeal stroboscopy)
How the Test is Performed
Laryngoscopy may be done in different ways:
- Indirect laryngoscopy uses a small mirror held at the back of your throat. The doctor shines a light on the mirror to view the throat area. This is a simple procedure. Most of the time, it can be done in the doctor's office while you are awake. A medicine to numb the back of your throat may be used.
- Fiberoptic laryngoscopy (nasolaryngoscopy) uses a small flexible telescope. The scope is passed through your nose and into your throat. This is the most common way that the voice box is examined. You are awake for the procedure. Numbing medicine will be sprayed in your nose. This procedure typically takes less than 1 minute.
- Laryngoscopy using strobe light can also be done. Use of strobe light can give the doctor more information about problems with your voice box
- Direct laryngoscopy uses a tube called a laryngoscope. The instrument is placed in the back of your throat. The tube may be flexible or stiff. This procedure allows the doctor to see deeper in the throat and to remove a foreign object or sample tissue for a biopsy. It is done in a hospital or medical center under general anesthesia, meaning you will be asleep and pain-free.