Direct laryngoscopy is an endoscopic investigation of the larynx, using a rigid tube and an operating microscope or magnifying lens. The examination is always performed by a surgeon in hospital.
Direct laryngoscopy - the process
Direct laryngoscopy is used to identify the extension of a lesion within the larynx, that is, described by specialists as being an endolaryngeal lesion. If necessary it can also be used to take a sample or biopsy. Finally, it is used to perform certain therapeutic procedures within the larynx. For example, on a small tumour or polyp.
The examination procedure
The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. The laryngoscope is introduced through the mouth and rests on the teeth or more accurately on a teeth protector. The surgeon manipulates the instruments by controlling its movements using an operating microscope or magnifying lenses. Lastly, in some cases patients are recommended to rest their voice post-operatively.
Possible risks of direct laryngoscopy
Because of the position of the head, the patient may suffer neck pain in the days after the procedure. The instruments used can cause injuries to the tongue, lower lip, or gums. As the tube is introduced through the mouth, discomfort may persist on swallowing for a few days. Laryngeal oedema can also cause respiratory discomfort.
Source: Nantes University Hospital Centre (UHC), 19 May 2009
Direct laryngoscopy is used to examine the larynx. © Phovoir
Direct laryngoscopy - 1 Photo