Examining your larynx in this way will help us find out what has gone wrong. Being unconscious with a general anaesthetic will stop you coughing or gagging on the laryngoscope during the procedure. Removal of a swelling through the laryngoscope is quick and recovery after the operation is fast.
Are there any alternatives?
A swelling inside your voice box may show up on x-rays or scans. However, these will not usually tell us what the swelling is or whether it is serious.
Occasionally, in special situations, it may be possible to take a biopsy from a swelling using a small flexible telescope passed through your nose into your throat. We can do this without a general anaesthetic by numbing the lining of your nose and throat with a local anaesthetic.
What if you do nothing?
You may have a problem with your larynx that would go unrecognised if you do not have this procedure. You could miss out on essential treatment. A problem in your larynx might cause serious problems with your voice, swallowing or breathing.
Who should have it done?
If you have throat problems where there is doubt about the cause, you should have a microlaryngoscopy.
Who should not have it done?
If you have another medical condition that makes a general anaesthetic unsafe you should not have one.
Author: Mr Robert Ruckley MB. ChB. F.R.C.S. Consultant ENT surgeon.
© Dumas Ltd 2006