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Head and Neck Cancer

Microlaryngoscopy is the examination of your larynx (voice box).  Oesophagoscopy is the examination of the oesophagus (gullet) .

Both procedures are carried out under a short general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will pass metal telescopes of various sizes via your mouth into your voice box or gullet to examine these areas.  A microscope may be used to examine the voice box in more detail and swellings removed or biopsies taken.  Microlaryngoscopy and oesophagoscopy are short procedures and quite safe.

How will I feel after the operation?

You may have a sore throat lasting 2-3 days due to the metal telescopes used.  Simple painkillers (e.g.  Paracetamol) may be taken.
Some patients feel their neck is slightly stiff after the operation especially if you have a history of neck problems.
Your voice may sound worse after the operation due to the swelling around the vocal cords. Voice rest may be advised in certain situations.

Possible Complications

These operations are very safe. A slightly sore throat is normal. There is a slight risk that the metal tubes may chip your teeth. In very difficult cases, there is a risk of perforation of the gullet. This would require antibiotics and a longer hospital stay. 

What happens after the operation?

Your surgeon will speak to you after the operation and discuss the findings. If any biopsies were taken, the results may not be available for 5-7 days due to processing in the laboratory. You can usually go home the same day as the operation.  You may be advised to stay off work for a few days to rest your throat, depending on your occupation.


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