What is Laryngoscopy?

A laryngoscopy is a procedure to look at your voice box (larynx) using a rigid telescope.

What are the benefits of a laryngoscopy?

Your doctor is concerned that you may have a problem in your larynx. A laryngoscopy is a good way of finding out if there is a problem.

For some people minor treatments can be performed at the same time.

Are there any alternatives to a laryngoscopy?

Your doctor has recommended a laryngoscopy as it is the best way of diagnosing most problems with your larynx.

Your doctor will usually have looked at your larynx using a flexible telescope (endoscope) or a smaller rigid telescope.

What does the procedure involve?

A laryngoscopy is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about 30 minutes.

Your surgeon will place a rigid telescope (laryngoscope) into the back of your mouth to examine your larynx. Sometimes they will use a microscope to get close-up views. Your surgeon may be able to remove small problems from your larynx using surgical instruments or a laser. If you have a lump, they will be able to perform biopsies and take photographs to help make the diagnosis.

What complications can happen?

  • sore throat
  • breathing difficulties or heart irregularities
  • making a hole in your tongue or the lining of your throat
  • damage to teeth or bridgework, or bruised gums
  • bleeding
  • change in taste
  • developing a hoarse voice
  • airway fire

How soon will I recover?

You will usually recover in about 2 hours. Once you are able to swallow properly, you will be given a drink.

If your doctor performed a biopsy, you may need to stay overnight and wait until the next morning before being given a drink. You may need to rest your voice for the first few days.

You should be able to return to work after a few days.

The healthcare team will tell you what was found during the laryngoscopy and discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.

Regular exercise should improve your long-term health. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice


A laryngoscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if there is a problem with your larynx.