Home » Head and Neck » Laryngoscopies

Laryngoscopies in Tampa and Spring Hill, FL

Using advanced fiber-optic technology, the board-certified Otolaryngologist/Head and Neck Surgeons of Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists provide advanced diagnostic laryngoscopies to those living in Tampa, Spring Hill and nearby towns in Florida. With our skill and expertise on your side, you feel confident about your diagnosis and treatment.

What is Laryngoscopy?

A laryngoscopy is a procedure whereby a doctor examines the back of your throat, larynx (voice box) and vocal cords using a laryngoscope. Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists performs two types of laryngoscopy procedures: indirect and direct fiber-optic.

Indirect Laryngoscopy

During an indirect laryngoscopy, you sit in a high-backed chair containing a headrest that is designed to push your head and jaw forward. Next, your throat is numbed with spray anesthesia. Your tongue is then covered with gauze and held with the doctor’s hand to allow a warm mirror to be placed near the back of your throat. You are then asked to make a specific sound while the doctor watches your larynx.

Direct Fiber-optic Laryngoscopy

A direct fiber-optic laryngoscopy is most often performed after an indirect procedure has been performed, as it allows the doctor to see a larger area. It may also be used if your gag reflex prevented a thorough exam from being performed when using the indirect method. During a direct fiber-optic laryngoscopy, a special scope will be inserted through either your nose or mouth and down into your throat. This scope contains an eyepiece that allows the doctor to view your larynx. This method also permits the doctor to collect tissue samples or remove growths or foreign objects that are trapped in the throat. It is typically performed in an operating room under general anesthesia.

Reasons for Procedure

A laryngoscopy may be performed for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Assisting with an intubation to help with breathing
  • Checking possible causes of persistent earaches
  • Diagnosing the cause of a persistent cough, bloody cough, hoarseness, throat pain, or bad breath
  • Evaluating reasons for difficulty swallowing
  • Performing biopsies
  • Removing foreign objects
  • Removing polyps
  • Viewing masses in the throat


Either local or general anesthesia may be used for a laryngoscopy. Local anesthesia numbs only the throat area while general anesthesia produces a full sleep. The type of anesthesia you require will largely depend on the type of procedure you require.

How Long Will It Take?

An indirect laryngoscopy only takes a few minutes; however a direct laryngoscopy may take anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes, depending on the reason for performing it.

Postoperative Care

You may be given some instructions from your doctor, which should be followed carefully. These may include:

  • No smoking for at least 24 hours after your procedures
  • Keeping the area dry, which may involve taking only sponge baths
  • Drinking plenty of water

It may be difficult for you to swallow because your gag reflex has been temporarily disabled. It normally takes around two hours for it to return, so in the meantime, spit out saliva and secretions. Use throat lozenges to help alleviate any discomfort you feel.

After your procedure, any tissue that was removed during your laryngoscopy will be sent to a laboratory for evaluation. You should receive the results of this biopsy within three to five days.

Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists offer the most advanced diagnostic testing in the Tampa and Spring Hill area, such as fiber-optic laryngoscopies. Contact our office to schedule a personal consultation for your laryngoscopy today!