Fiberoptic Endoscopy and Its Variations (Nasal Endoscopy, Nasopharyngoscopy, & Laryngoscopy)
Fiberoptic endoscopy is performed in order to evaluate areas of the head and neck that is not otherwise able to be visualized. Whereas CT and MRI scans provide internal body information, they provide only static pictures (a single snapshot in a single moment in time) and not function (how things move or work over a continuous period of time). These exams are performed without any sedation and are easily tolerated by patients as young as 5 years of age with their full cooperation (watch video below). Prior to examination, the nose is decongested and anesthetized with a nasal spray. Familiarize yourself with orientation and anatomy first (Figure Orientation below the videos) before checking out the various flexible endoscopies performed of the upper airway. Seeing the various image & light quality differences among different endoscopes in use today (rigid, fiberoptic, digital chip-on-tip) can be found here.
Figure 1: Fiberoptic Nasal Endoscopy (used to visualize internal nasal and sinus anatomy). This procedure is also called rhinoscopy. This procedure is often performed when investigating problems dealing with sinusitis, nasal polyps, allergies, nasal obstruction, etc.
Figure 2: Fiberoptic Nasopharyngoscopy (used to visualize the back of the nose for velopharyngeal function as well as discerning any masses leading to eustachian tube dysfunction and subsequent ear problems). Expected image in this position shown to the right. This procedure is also performed when investigating problems related to nasal obstruction due to large adenoids as well as ear pain due to possible cancer.
Figure 3: Fiberoptic Laryngoscopy or Nasolaryngoscopy (used to visualize the voicebox and surrounding anatomic structures). Expected image in this position shown to the right. This procedure is often performed when investigating problems dealing with hoarseness, ear pain due to possible throat cancer, breathing problems, cough, reflux, phlegmy throat, constant throat-clearing, etc.
In certain situations, the endoscope can even be passed down into the esophagus and stomach. Watch video.
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