Laryngoscopy is the examination of your voice box while you are asleep under a general anaesthetic.

Laryngoscopy is done to find and treat problems of the voice box, such as hoarseness. This is done through a laryngoscope that is a special metal tube put in through your mouth into your to look in the voice box.

If a microscope is used to look into the voice box to find the problem, it is called Micro laryngoscopy. If needed, surgery on your voice box can also be done through the laryngoscope with very fine instruments. Depending on the type of problem a laser might be used. You can follow this link to learn more about LASER for head and neck surgery .

If there are any problem areas, a small part of the lining of the voice box is taken away for laboratory examination. This is called a biopsy. Laryngoscopy is quite a short operation and usually takes less than 30 minutes.

You may find that your throat hurts. This is because of the metal tubes that are passed through your throat to examine the voice box. Any discomfort settles quickly with simple painkillers and usually only lasts a day or two. Some patients feel their neck is slightly stiff after the operation.

It is advisable to rest your voice for a short period particularly if we have taken a biopsy from your voice box. Your voice may sound worse, especially if any biopsies have been taken. This should be temporary until the lining of the voice box heals. You can usually eat and drink later the same day.

Microlaryngoscopy is very safe. Very rarely, there is a risk that the metal tubes may chip your teeth. We use guards to prevent this happening. Occasionally, this can cause the teeth to fall out, especially if they are loose or if you have poor dental health.

If you have a history of neck problems, do let us know.

I will usually be able to tell you what was found, and what I did to help you, on the same day as your operation. If any biopsies were taken, these normally take a few days to process in a laboratory. I will arrange to see you again for your results.

Usually you can go home the same day as the operation, as long as you have someone with you. Depending on how you feel afterwards, you may need to stay overnight for observation.

You may be advised to stay off work for a few days to rest your throat, depending on your job.


Northampton General Hospital
NHS Hospital
Northampton NN1 5BD
Tel - 01604 634700
BMI Three Shires Hospital
Private Hospital
Northampton NN1 5DR
Tel - 01604 620311


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Tel – 07504 818402