Microlaryngoscopy

Introduction

A microlaryngoscopy is an operation used to visualize and treat conditions of the voice box.

Indications

There are a number of reasons a Microlaryngoscopy may be indicated. These include;

  • To biopsy or remove a vocal cord lesion.
    • Nodules.
    • Cysts.
    • Tumours.
  • For Laryngomalacia or narrowed airways.

Risks

A microlaryngoscopy involves accessing and placing instruments into the airway. The risks of any operation apply including;

  • Pain.
  • Bleeding.
  • Infection.
  • Scarring.
  • Failure to resolve symptoms.

Specific risks of a microlaryngoscopy include:

  • Dental or oral injury.
  • Altered voice.
  • Altered taste or tongue sensation.
  • Airway compromise.
  • Neck injury.
  • Pneumothorax.

Treatment Alternatives

The alternatives will depend upon the condition and circumstances. Dr Morrissey can discuss your options after a complete assessment.

Preoperative Instructions

Microlaryngoscopy is performed under a general anaesthetic. You will need to fast prior to surgery and should follow the provided instructions. If you have any queries or concerns please contact your Anaesthetist, admitting hospital or Dr Morrissey.

Procedure

Once the patient is asleep, Dr Morrissey will fashion a mouth guard to protect the teeth, lips and gum. He then places an instrument called a laryngoscope into the throat to allow visualization of the airways. A camera or microscope may be used to improve the view. Specialised instruments can then be used as needed to address the particular concern in each case.

At the conclusion of the procedure, Dr Morrissey will check that any bleeding is controlled and remove the instruments.

Postoperative Instructions

Return to normal activities

Most people can return to normal activities the day following surgery.

Voice Rest

Following surgery to the voice box, it is important to rest the voice. The means you can talk in a normal voice, but try to limit the amount of talking you do.

Strictly avoid yelling and whispering until you have had a post-operative consultation with Dr Morrissey.

Pain relief

Pain is usually quite mild following surgery to the voice box. You should take simple analgesia such as Panadol or Nurofen as needed.

Should pain relief requirements exceed this, please contact Dr Morrissey.

Antibiotics

In certain circumstances you may be prescribed antibiotics following surgery. Please take as instructed if advised.

Reflux Treatment

Even if you do not suffer reflux usually, Dr Morrissey will often prescribe some anti-reflux medications following surgery to aid healing of the voice box. You should take these medications as instructed until the healing process is complete, which Dr Morrissey will advise you on at the post-operative consultation.

Diet

There are no restrictions on diet.

Fever

It is common to have a mild fever for the first 24hrs after the operation.  Please call Dr Morrissey’s rooms or see your GP if there is a persistent fever greater than 38.5°C.

Bleeding

If there is any sign of bleeding from the nose or mouth, then please present to the nearest Emergency Department for assessment.

Breathing Difficulty

It is unusual to have any trouble breathing after the operation. Should you experience difficult or noisy breathing, please contact Dr Morrissey or his ‘on-call’ service. If unable to reach either of the above, then attend the nearest Emergency Department.

Follow Up Appointment

At the time you book surgery a post-operative appointment will usually be organised. Please contact Dr Morrissey if you are unsure as to the appointment details.

How to contact Dr Morrissey

For non-emergency issues please call (07) 4646 4275 for further instructions.

Dr Morrissey shares ‘on-call’ arrangements with other ENT surgeons and one is usually available to answer questions. After hours the "On Call" ENT Surgeon can be contacted via the Toowoomba Base Hospital on (07) 4616 6000.

Should your concerns not be addressed via a phone call please present to your nearest Emergency Department.

In the event of an Emergency call 000 or attend the nearest Emergency Department.

Related Information

Head and Neck Lumps
Voice problems