Why performed:

Direct laryngoscopy is done for laryngeal masses (vocal cord nodule, vocal cord polyps, papillomas, ulcers, tumors and cysts), laryngeal foreign bodies, laryngeal trauma and paralyzed vocal cords.

Bronchoscopy is done for bronchial masses, bronchial foreign bodies, aspiration and perforating neck trauma.

Esophagoscopy is done for esophageal masses, esophageal foreign bodies and perforating neck trauma.

How performed:

In the operating room under general anesthesia.  Usually done as an outpatient, unless being performed for trauma. Pre-op labs may be requiredChest x-ray and EKG may be required if patient is over the age of 50 or if heart or lung problems exist.

What to expect:

Mild discomfort (patient may experience sore throat for a few days), difficulty swallowing (resolves when discomfort resolves), minor bleeding (blood streaked sputum is not a cause for concern), biopsy reports (if taken) will return in approximately 5 working days or less.

What can go wrong:

Spasm of vocal cords (could cause airway obstruction on extubation but can usually be interrupted with IV medications preventing complications), perforation of the airway or swallowing tube (very rare), anesthetic complications (death of anesthesia in a healthy patient is extremely rare).

What you need to do:

Take antibiotics and pain medications given by the doctor.  Drink cool liquids (water, milk, low acid juices, ice cream and Jell-O) during the first day.  Slowly advance diet as tolerated.  Call the doctor if unable to drink liquids.  Return for a follow-up visit in 10 days.