Laryngoscopy is the visual exam of the voice box, also called the larynx, and the vocal cords. There are two main kinds:
- Indirect laryngoscopy—uses mirrors to examine the larynx and hypopharynx, which is a portion of the passageway to the lungs and stomach
- Direct laryngoscopy—uses a special instrument, most often a flexible scope
Both procedures are usually done in the office.
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Laryngoscopy is used to examine and diagnose problems inside the throat. It is most often done:
- To assist in intubation to help with breathing for surgery or serious illness
- To diagnose the cause of a persistent cough, bloody cough, hoarseness, throat pain, or bad breath
- To evaluate reasons for difficulty swallowing
- To evaluate a possible cause for persistent earache
- To remove a foreign object
- To visualize a mass in the throat
- To biopsy tissue inside the throat
- To remove polyps inside the throat
Last reviewedMay 2014by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.