Microlaryngoscopy is the examination of your larynx (voice box) while you are under a general anaesthetic.
Microlaryngoscopy is done to find and treat problems of the voice box, such as hoarseness. Your surgeon will put a short metal tube (laryngoscope) through your mouth into your voice box. A microscope is then used to look into the voice box to find the problem. If needed, surgery on your voice box can also be done through the laryngoscope with very fine instruments.
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. Depending on the type of problem a laser might be used. Microlaryngoscopy 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.
After microlaryngoscopy, you should be able to use your voice as normal after the procedure. If the surgeon has taken a biopsy from your voice box, he may advise you to rest your voice for a short period. 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. You may have a slightly sore throat afterwards. Very rarely, there is a risk that the metal tubes may chip your teeth. Your surgeon uses a gum guard to help prevent this happening.
If you have a history of neck problems, you should inform the surgeon about this before your operation. Please also advise your surgeon of any loose or capped teeth before the operation.
Your surgeon will usually be able to tell you what was found, and what they 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. Your surgeon 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.
There is no alternative to microlaryngoscopy to achieve a detailed examination of the voice box.