Direct Laryngoscopy

Direct laryngoscopy is a procedure to examine the larynx. You may have problems with your voice, swallowing, or breathing. The procedure is done under general anesthesia, and a few of the indications for surgery include: removing foreign objects, taking a biopsy (small tissue sample), or removing polyps from the vocal cords. A microscope and/or laser is used to do a detailed examination of all the parts of your larynx, including your vocal cords.


As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved with the direct laryngoscopy. The risks and complications include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Injury to teeth
  • Failure of a vocal cord to heal after biopsy
  • Complications due to anesthesia (The anesthesiologist will discuss the risks involved with you prior to surgery)

Before the Procedure

  1. Nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours prior to the procedure. This includes all food, liquids, water, candy, mints or chewing gum. You may brush your teeth. You will not be able to undergo the surgery if you do not follow these instructions.
  2. Please notify us of any medications and dosage (including insulin) or allergies you may have. You will be informed of which medications you can take on the day of surgery with a sip of water.
  3. A week before the surgery, please avoid aspirin, aspirin-containing products, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Aleve) or Vitamin E. Please notify our office if you are on any medications that affect bleeding, such as coumadin or warfarin. Please call our office if you have any concerns about any medications. (585-342-2080)
  4. Remove all make-up, jewelry, nail polish, and artificial nails before surgery.
  5. Do not bring valuables to the hospital (cash, credit cards, watches, jewelry, etc.).

After the Procedure

You may experience swollen lips after the surgery and your tongue may feel full or numb.

Activity: Avoid strenuous activity (bending, lifting, or straining) for one week.

Diet: Advance diet from liquids to soft food to solid food as tolerated. Avoid hot liquids or food. You may find that liquids and soft foods are more tolerable for the first few days. Drink plenty of fluids.

Medication: Resume all medications you were taking prior to the procedure. For mild discomfort, you may wish to take Tylenol or Advil as needed and as directed.

Voice: Maintain complete voice rest for five to seven days. If you must speak, do not whisper or talk loudly. Use a normal voice, and use brief, short answers (yes or no), and talk only to those within an arm's length. DO NOT WHISPER. You should rest your voice for one month. Avoid throat clearing.

Follow-Up: Our office will contact you with the date and time of your follow-up appointment. We will also contact you with pathology results.

Please call our office at 585-342-2080 for any of the following:

  1. Trouble breathing or painful swallowing
  2. Loose or dislodged teeth
  3. Significant swelling of the neck or back of throat
  4. Coughing up blood or persistent bleeding (You may notice some slight blood-tinged sputum which is not uncommon).

Any other concerning symptoms.