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Outpatient Laryngoscopy

Laryngoscopy examination is used to help diagnose issues in the throat, including the voice box.

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Everything You Need to Know

If you ever have issues with your throat this will typically manifest in symptoms such as:

  • sore throat
  • voice problems
  • difficulty or painful swallowing
  • neck lumps
  • noisy breathing
  • a persistent or chronic cough
  • throat pain
  • bad breath
  • trouble breathing
  • a persistent earache

Laryngoscopy is usually performed to investigate throat problems, such as voice disorders, difficulty swallowing, upper airway conditions including chronic cough, or unexplained throat pain, but it can also be used to guide certain treatments, such as laser therapy for vocal cord lesions or the removal of foreign bodies.


Before you are referred for a laryngoscopy, you’ll need to book an initial appointment with an ENT consultant. During this appointment, the doctor will assess your symptoms. It might be that they look down your throat with a bright light, arrange scans, or examine your vocal cords.

If they agree that a laryngoscopy is required, then they’ll arrange this for you at the same appointment. Keep in mind that a laryngoscopy is used to diagnose the problem, and it may be that you’ll need an additional surgical procedure to cure the problem.


Laryngoscopy can be performed using different techniques, and the specific method depends on the purpose of the examination and the patient’s condition.

Flexible laryngoscopy

To begin, the doctor may use a numbing medicine spray for the nose and throat to ease the entry of the laryngoscope.

A flexible, narrow tube called a fibreoptic laryngoscope is gently passed through either the nose or mouth and into the throat. The laryngoscope contains a light source and a camera, allowing the healthcare provider to visualize the throat on a monitor in real-time.


After a flexible laryngoscopy, there is typically little to no recovery time required. Since this procedure is often done with local anaesthetic and without the need for sedation, patients can usually resume normal activities immediately. Some patients may experience mild discomfort or a sensation of fullness in their throat after the procedure. These symptoms usually resolve quickly after a few minutes.

How to pay for your treatment

If you’re… paying for yourself

Did you know you don’t need private medical insurance to come to St John & St Elizabeth Hospital? As a self-pay patient, you can access safe, outstanding quality health care at times to suit you.

For scans and tests, as well as to see most consultants, you’ll still need to be referred by a medical professional like your GP, but as a self-pay patient, the process is more straightforward. You won’t need authorisation from an insurance provider, and you’ll have greater choice of consultant and appointment times.

If you’re… insured

St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is approved by all major medical insurance companies. If you have a personal private health insurance policy, or your company provide it for you, you can use it to pay for your care from your initial consultation through to treatment, surgery and aftercare such as physiotherapy. Not all private health insurance plans cover the same things. It’s very important to check exactly what you are covered for with your insurance provider.