Flexible Laryngoscopy: About This Test

Skip to the navigation

What is it?

Flexible laryngoscopy (say "lair-en-GOS-kuh-pee") is a test that lets your doctor look at your throat and voice box (larynx). The doctor uses a thin, flexible tube, called a scope, to look deep into your throat.

Why is this test done?

This test is done to find the cause of voice problems, ear and throat pain, or swallowing problems. It also may be done to check for throat tumours or injuries.

How can you prepare for the test?

  • If you wear dentures, you will remove them just before the test.

What happens before the test?

  • You will be awake for the test.
  • The doctor may give you medicine to numb the inside of your nose and throat.
  • The doctor may give you medicine to dry up the mucus in your nose and throat.

What happens during the test?

  • The doctor will put the scope into your nose and gently guide it into the back of your throat.
  • The scope may have a camera on it that sends pictures to a monitor so your doctor can see the inside of your nose and throat.
  • The doctor may ask you to speak, sing, cough, take deep breaths, or sniff while the scope is in your throat.

How long does the test take?

  • The test will take about 5 minutes.

What happens after the test?

  • You may have a sore nose and throat for 1 or 2 days.
  • You will probably be able to go home right away.
  • You can go back to your usual activities right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter R911 in the search box to learn more about "Flexible Laryngoscopy: About This Test".