Microlaryngoscopy is the examination of your larynx (voice box) while you are under a general anaesthetic using a microscope.
Microlaryngoscopy is done to find and treat problems of the voice box, such as hoarseness. Mr Fish will put a rigid metal tube (laryngoscope) through your mouth and into your throat to look at your voice box. A microscope or telescope is then used to look into the voice box to find the problem. If necessary, surgery on your voice box can also be done through the laryngoscope with very fine instruments. If there are any abnormalities are found then a small part can be taken away for laboratory examination. This is called a biopsy. Depending on the type of problem a laser might be used. Microlaryngoscopy may be quite a short operation and take less than 30 minutes but may take longer depending on the complexity of the treatment required.
Microlaryngoscopy is very safe. You may have a sore throat afterwards and you neck may be a little stiff. Very rarely, there is a risk that the laryngoscope may chip your teeth. Mr Fish uses a tooth guard to help minimise the chance if this happening. There is a small chance that your voice will be worse if a biopsy has been taken. This could be temporary until the lining of the voice box heals but can occasionally be permanent. You can usually eat and drink later the same day.
If you have a history of neck problems, you should inform the surgeon about this before your operation. Please also advise Mr Fish of any loose or capped teeth before the operation.
Mr Fish will usually be able to tell you what was found, and what they did to help you, on the same day as your operation. He will often take photographs which can be shared with you. If any biopsies were taken, these normally take up to two weeks to process in a laboratory. Mr Fish will arrange to see you again for your results. You may be asked to rest your voice for a few days.
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.