Laryngoscopy, pharyngoscopy and oesophagoscopy are examinations of the throat with either a flexible or rigid tube (the endoscope). This allows one to examine the anatomy of the pharynx, larynx or oesophagus in more detail than is possible in the clinic.

The operation
The procedure is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic. The endoscope is passed through the mouth into the throat. If any abnormality is seen, a biopsy (removal of sample tissue) is carried out.

Length of stay in hospital
This procedure is usually carried out as a day-case.

Post-operative symptoms
You will feel tired after the general anaesthetic.

If you have had a biopsy taken, you may have a sore throat. If you have not had a biopsy, you should not have much discomfort.

Post-operative care
You may be asked to avoid eating and drinking for a few hours after the procedure. You may also be asked to rest your voice for a few days after the procedure to allow the vocal cords to heal.

Any biopsy taken will go to the pathology laboratory for microscopic examination, and the results are usually available after about 2 to 7 days.

Length of time off work
You should avoid work and driving for 48 hours after the anaesthetic.

Possible complications of endoscopic procedures
Most endoscopic procedures of the throat are straightforward, but as with any operation there is always a small risk of a complication.

a) General anaesthetic
General anaesthetics are very safe in this day and age. The Anaesthetist will visit you on the ward before the operation and discuss the risks of the anaesthetic and any other concerns with you.

b) Injury to the teeth, mouth, throat or tongue
Very rarely during endoscopic procedures the teeth, mouth, throat or tongue can be injured.

c) Perforation
Perforation of the throat is an extremely rare complication of endoscopic procedures of the throat. If you develop severe pain in the throat or between the shoulder blades or any breathing or swallowing problems in the post-operative period, you should seek urgent medical advice.

 If you have any concerns once you have returned home, do not hesitate to telephone for advice to one of the following numbers:

Level 4 ward Tel: 0117 9804088
Spire Bristol Hospital Tel: 0117 9804000
or myself for advice via my PA Mrs Beverley Bloor Tel: 0117 9804050