Flexible Fiberoptic Laryngoscopy
Flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy or laryngeal endoscopy is a diagnostic examination to view the throat and its surrounding structures. During a flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy, topical anesthesia is applied to the nasal cavity and a small endoscope is inserted through the nostril to examine the throat and larynx. It is performed using a thin, flexible endoscope attached to a fiberoptic light source and digital camera, which enables the doctor to complete a comprehensive evaluation of the throat and larynx. When necessary, biopsies of the throat can be taken during the examination.
A fiberoptic laryngoscopy can be performed as part of a regular office visit. Since topical anesthesia is used to numb the affected area, the patient remains fully awake during the procedure and can review the digitally recorded findings with the doctor immediately afterward. It also allows for a resumption of normal activities with no delay.
Rigid laryngoscopy is very similar to the flexible laryngoscopy, but it is performed through the mouth using a rigid scope. It is a minimally invasive procedure that provides visual access to the vocal cords in order to diagnose and treat conditions such as hoarseness, weak voice, polyps, difficulty swallowing or laryngeal cancer. During this procedure, a rigid fiberoptic tube is inserted into the throat to evaluate the area. This procedure is conducted without anesthesia or using topical anesthesia, depending on the patient’s preferences.
Digital Laryngeal Stroboscopy
Similar to flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy and rigid laryngoscopy, digital laryngeal stroboscopy utilizes a state-of-the-art laryngeal strobe, digital camera and computer processer to obtain slow motion, high resolution images of vocal fold vibration. This allows evaluation of subtle or complex conditions that may affect vocal cord vibration and cause changes to the voice. This procedure may also be used to compare the appearance and movement of the vocal cords before and after treatment for any detected problems.
Digital laryngeal stroboscopy is performed on an outpatient basis, and involves inserting an endoscope through the nose and into the throat, where it is led to the vocal cords. The stroboscope technology used will capture slow-motion images of the vocal cords while the patient speaks to provide clear, informative photos of the rapidly moving structures, which can be viewed in real-time by the doctor and patient.
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