Types of Procedures, Cost and CPT Code For Laryngoscopy

Submitted on March 27, 2012

What is Laryngoscopy?

A laryngoscopy is primarily a medical procedure that allows the presiding doctor to visually examine the area at the back of the throat and is extensively used in the diagnosis of a number of voice related problems. Deriving its name primarily from the organ that it is used to examine, the laryngoscopy is an examination of the larynx - more commonly known as the voice box. Some of the more common symptoms that will prompt the doctor to inform a patient that he or she should undergo a laryngoscopy include voice and breathing problems, ear or throat pain as well as significant difficulty in swallowing and airway blockages. The instrument used during a laryngoscopy is much like the endoscope, with one end of the instrument sporting a camera as well as a light source. The tube needs to be extremely thin as it needs to go down some very narrow tubes in an attempt to reach its target.

The laryngoscopy is known to be an extremely effective method in identifying the primary causes of a number of the symptoms that are usually seen in an individual. This is primarily because of the fact that the doctor can get a very in depth view of all angles of the inside of the voice box, which is not the case when he or she needs to refer to a series of x-rays. Because of the fact that a laryngoscopy requires a long tube to be inserted down the patients throat, the patient will always be under sedation when undergoing the procedure.

Types of Laryngoscopy Procedures

There are three types of laryngoscopy procedures - the indirect laryngoscopy, the fiber optic laryngoscopy and the direct laryngoscopy. In the indirect version of the procedure, the doctor will not use the laryngoscope, but instead rely on the use of a small hand mirror that he or she will use to examine the back of the throat with the help of a small headlamp whose light will be focused towards the back of the throat. The indirect laryngoscopy does not require the patient to be sedated and one of the biggest drawbacks of this procedure is the fact that it tends to gag the individual more often than not. As a result, it is rarely ever used when dealing with children especially. The other two methods - that is the direct as well as fiber optic methods, are usually performed by an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist with the help of a rigid or flexible telescopic instrument that is the laryngoscope.

A laryngoscopy is rarely ever the first diagnostic tool used when it comes to identifying the root causes of a long standing medical complication. Before performing a laryngoscopy, the doctor will usually have a number of chest x-rays, physical exams as well as a CT scan performed in an effort to identify the root cause of the complication. In some cases, the patient may also be asked to swallow a small amount of barium while the doctors attempt to capture some x-rays of the larynx itself. This liquid is relatively harmless and will be passed out of the body in a day or two. However, it is important to inform your doctor in the event that you are pregnant or breastfeeding as the liquid could pass through to the baby and thus prove harmful.

In the event that the procedure is being performed at a doctor's clinic, chances are that only local anesthetic will be used, in which case, no restrictions will be placed on whether the patient can eat or not the night prior to the procedure. However, in the event that the procedure is going to use general anesthesia, it is important to consult your doctor on the kinds of foods, if any, that are allowed to be consumed the night prior to the procedure. There is a lot of additional information regarding the laryngoscopy biopsy, laryngoscopy cost, laryngoscopy cpt code and laryngoscopy anatomy that can be easily found through sources such as the internet.