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 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 reviewedJuly 2013by Daus Mahnke, MD; 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.