In flexible laryngoscopy, a thin, flexible viewing tube (called a laryngoscope) is passed through the nose and guided to the vocal cords, or larynx. Fiberoptic cables permit a physician to directly inspect the nose, throat, and larynx for abnormalities. Laryngoscopy is typically performed in a doctor’s office using local anesthesia.
Alternatively, a rigid viewing tube may be passed through the mouth for a more thorough inspection, a procedure called rigid laryngoscopy. Instruments may be passed through the scope to obtain tissue samples for microscopic examination, or to perform therapeutic procedures. Rigid laryngoscopy is done in an operating room under general anesthesia.
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