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A laryngoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that examines the voice box (larynx), which contains the vocal cords, by placing mirrors and a light source at the back of the throat, or by inserting a thin, flexible tube called a laryngoscope down the throat to produce images. This procedure can be performed for many reasons, including to diagnose a persistent cough, hoarseness or bad breath, to detect a mass or tumor on the vocal cords, diagnose cancer or diagnose voice problems.
Depending on the type of procedure being performed, your doctor may shine a light and reflect a mirror onto the back of the throat, or may insert a laryngoscope through the mouth and down the throat to produce images of the vocal cords, larynx and hypopharynx. This procedure does not usually cause any pain for patients, but may be uncomfortable, so local anesthesia may be administered.
The results of the laryngoscope procedure are available right away and can be reviewed with the patient after the procedure. Your doctor may also analyze these results later on to detect any abnormalities within the throat and vocal cords. Patients may experience a sore throat after this procedure, which can be relieved by sucking on throat lozenges or taking pain medication.
A bronchoscopy is a test performed to view and diagnose problems in the air passages and lungs. The examination is administered using a bronchoscope, a device used to see the interior of the lungs. Your doctor will insert this two-foot-long tube through the nose or mouth and into your lungs. Bronchoscopes can be either flexible or rigid. The more common flexible bronchoscopes allow the patient to remain awake during the procedure. If a rigid bronchoscope is required, the patient is put to sleep. Regardless of which scope will be used, a local anesthetic will be administered to prevent discomfort during and after the exam.
Bronchoscopies are usually recommended when the patient shows signs of lung disease. The examination can be used to diagnose most pulmonary conditions.
An esophagoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat conditions of the esophagus. This procedure can identify diseases of the esophagus, determine the cause of symptoms, remove growths and swallowed objects or stretch narrowed areas.
This procedure uses an esophagoscope, which is a thin tube with a light and camera on the end that is fed through the mouth to the esophagus. Your doctor is able to view the area in real time on a video monitor in order to identify any abnormalities in the area that may be causing difficulty breathing, swallowing or eating.
This procedure may be performed with a local anesthetic, although it is virtually painless. There is no preparation necessary for this procedure, as there are with many other diagnostic exams. An esophagoscopy takes less than ten minutes and is a generally safe procedure with few rare risks such as bleeding or puncturing of the intestinal wall.
After an esophagoscopy, you may experience a dry or sore throat or coughing from the procedure. These symptoms usually go away quickly, and can be relieving by drinking plenty of water. There is no downtime from an esophagoscopy and patients can return to school or work immediately.
A neck mass is a common childhood condition that involves swelling that changes the shape of the neck. Neck masses do not usually cause any symptoms and often disappear on their own.
They may be caused by:
Neck masses caused by infection can be painful and may require antibiotic treatment. Those that last more than a few weeks should undergo diagnostic testing.
The salivary glands are found in and around the mouth and throat. The major salivary glands are the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands. The parotid secretes saliva near the upper teeth, the submandibular from under the tongue, and the sublingual through the floor of the mouth. Additionally, many other minor salivary glands are located in the lips, inner cheeks, and throat. Saliva aids in digestion, oral lubrication and hygiene, and protection against tooth decay.
Disorders of the salivary glands include obstruction, infection, secondary infection from lymph node enlargement, and tumors. Conditions that can affect the salivary glands include autoimmune diseases, such as HIV, which attack the salivary glands and cause them to enlarge. Others are rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause dry mouth, and diabetes, which may result in swelling and enlargement.
Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct defects or deformities of the septum. The nasal septum is the separation between the two nostrils. In adults, it is composed of both cartilage and bone. The nasal septum has three functions: support the nose, regulate air flow, and support the mucous membranes of the nose. A number of medical conditions may indicate a need for the procedure including nasal air passage obstruction, a deviated septum, tumors, chronic and uncontrolled nosebleeds, or the presence of polyps, etc. Additionally, a septoplasty may be performed in conjunction with a rhinoplasty in order to ensure that the reshaping of the nose does not result in a reduction of the amount of breathing space.
Patients who receive septoplasty can usually return home the same day or in the morning after following surgery. Risks or complications are relatively rare. Recovery symptoms may include bleeding, swelling, bruising, or discoloration.