Direct laryngoscopy is a procedure to examine the larynx under anesthesia. It is done to examine the larynx fully without problems with gagging, pain, or motion from swallowing or movement of the vocal cords. If there are lesions on the vocal cords or throat they are removed or biopsies at the time of the examination.


The procedure is done in a hospital or surgicenter under general anesthesia. After the patient is asleep a scope is inserted through the mouth and the throat examined. If biopsies or removal of a
lesion are necessary this is done through the scope using long thin instruments. The patient is then taken to the recovery room. Most patients stay for an hour or so after the procedure and then go home the same day. Patients can resume a soft diet as soon as the anesthesia wears off.


You should rest at home with your head elevated after returning home. If a procedure was done on your vocal cords you may be instructed to rest your voice. Most patients are able to resume all
of their normal activity (except voice use) by the following day. The throat will be sore for several days after the procedure.

Risks and Complications

  • Any time a procedure is done involving the vocal cords there is the potential for scarring of the vocal cord. This could lead to worsen ing of the voice. Permanent hoarseness is not common, but tills is a potential complication of the surgery.
  • Any time an instrument is passed into the mouth there is a risk of chipping a tooth or knocking a tooth loose. This is a very uncommon complication.
  • If a lesion is removed from the vocal cords it does not usually recur, but there is a small chance that it could recur.
  • Bleeding and infection are possible, as with any surgery. There is not a high incidence of either of these complications with this type of surgery.

We ask that you sign below to indicate that you have read, understand, and accept the risks and complications of this operation. Alternative treatments have been discussed with me and I want to go ahead with the surgery