Category: Laryngoscopy

Within the context of our practice, laryngoscopy is a procedure performed in the office to evaluate the function of the vocal cords and adequacy of the airway in anticipation of thyroid or parathyroid surgery.

As we have discussed on other pages, one risk of thyroid/parathyroid surgery is injury to nerves that control the vocal cords ( recurrent nerves). A small percentage of patients may have pre-existing vocal cord problems. This could due to prior surgery, neurologic issues, or other pre-existing problems. Significant pre-existing vocal cord or airway problems may be present without the patients knowledge. Establishing that the vocal cords are functioning normally before surgery is important to ensure maximum safety and optimal outcomes for the patient.

We perform screening laryngoscopy to assess global vocal cord function and airway adequacy. If our exam suggests an abnormality we may have to alter our surgical approach or obtain a more detailed exam by a voice specialist. If necessary, we will arrange this referral. Click here to view a slide show of a laryngoscopy.

Laryngocopy Slide Show

Understandably, most people are anxious about the idea of laryngoscopy. However, with good local anesthesia and a very narrow flexible fiberoptic scope, the procedure is painless with very little local discomfort. The first part of the procedure involves administering a local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor into the nose and the back of the mouth. The patient …Read More »