Introducing: Ask a Doctor
At UTHSC ENT, we understand that patients need clear, helpful answers to their questions. We also know that a flood of new information can be overwhelming.
That’s why our department’s introducing Ask a Doctor: an ongoing series of posts that tackle Frequently Asked Questions about common issues. We hope these articles give you a better understanding of your situation and an easy path to treatment.
Today, we highlight a cutting-edge option for our voice patients: microlaryngoscopy.
Prepared by: Timothy Storm Owens
Reviewed by: Dr. Sandra Stinnett
What is microlaryngoscopy?
Microlaryngoscopy is an approach to viewing the larynx (area containing vocal cords) and pharynx (area between the mouth and esophagus) in detail that utilizes a powerful microscope. Additionally, microlaryngoscopy allows a physician to treat some lesions and vocal issues without the need for an external incision.
When is microlaryngoscopy used?
This technique is commonly used to address issues with the vocal cords–for example, nodules, polyps, or other lesions that may be causing hoarseness.
The microlaryngoscope is used with a laser that can remove abnormal tissue. For this reason, it is used in the diagnosis and treatment of some cancers of the larynx and pharynx, as well.
What can I expect after the procedure?
Most microlaryngoscopies are performed as an outpatient; most patients can expect to be sent home on the same day.
Your physician may instruct you to rest your voice and avoid straining to talk for a specific amount of time after the procedure. Consult your physician on their recommendations for rest as well as dietary restrictions during the healing process.
What are the potential complications?
Areas of the throat and mouth may feel sore after a procedure due to the placement of the laryngoscope, but these typically resolve within a few days.
In rare cases, some patients have experienced issues with the tongue (pain, loss of taste and movement) because of nerve compression, but these symptoms typically resolve within a short time.
How can our Dream Team help?
If you have any issue with your voice, Dr. Stinnett should be your first call!