Direct Laryngoscopy, Suspension Microlaryngoscopy / Videolaryngoscopy
LASER, Biopsy, Stripping, Excision of Polyp or Vocal Cord Injection
Direct laryngoscopy is a frequently performed examination of the pharynx and larynx. It allows the surgeon to examine these structures thoroughly and to take a biopsy from suspicious-looking tissue. The surgeon holds the laryngoscope with one hand and works with the other. In suspension microlaryngoscopy, the laryngoscope is suspended to allow the surgeon to work with both hands. A surgical microscope is used to provide magnification, better visualization and to deliver a LASER beam. Occasionally, a video camera is attached to the laryngoscope (videolaryngoscopy) and the operation is viewed on the video monitor. This allows the anesthesiologist to observe the procedure and coordinate the patient's breathing while the surgeon is working. With the camera, the surgeon can record a video clip of the operation and take still photographs of the larynx.
This procedure is generally safe and carries very few side effects, other than a sore tongue, gum or lip and very rarely, a chipped tooth. Isolated cases of transient unilateral lingual nerve injury have been reported. These are probably caused by stretching the nerve and seem to recover in two to three months.
If the laryngoscopy is performed for the removal of leukoplakia (stripping), vocal cord nodules or polyps, there is a chance that these lesions may recur. They may require another operation, if the original cause (voice abuse, smoking etc) has not been eliminated, or if voice rest is not observed post-operatively. Occasionally, if the lesion involves a large area of both vocal cords, the operation is performed in two stages, one side at a time.
This procedure is also used to inject the vocal cords with Radiesse or other substances to augment the volume of the vocal cord or to move a paralyzed vocal cord toward the midline (medialization). This brings the paralyzed vocal cord closer to its counterpart, and improves the voice. Sometimes, more than one injection is needed.
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This page was last updated: February 25, 2012