Digital videostroboscopy is an endoscopic procedure performed to evaluate the function of the larynx (voice box) and vocal cords. Performed in the doctor’s office, this minimally invasive examination facilitates the diagnosis of various conditions that may cause hoarseness, swallowing problems or acid reflux. Digital videostroboscopy, a recently perfected technique, is an excellent diagnostic tool, helping to assess both voice and airway function. During the procedure, the physician is able to observe anatomical irregularities, abnormal growths, and ineffective vocal cord vibrations. With the stroboscope, the physician is able to visualize the vibrations of the vocal cords in slow motion as the patient speaks.
The fact that the vibrations appear as slowed-down images give the physician the advantage of being able to assess abnormalities more precisely and allows more accurate insights into the cause of the patient’s symptoms. Stroboscopy also makes possible a comparison of vocal cord vibration before and after treatment. In addition, this method can be used to monitor endoscopic procedures for sinus or otoscopic examinations or repairs.
What is a Digital Videostroboscopy?
Your vocal cords vibrate quickly, making them difficult to examine by looking in the throat using normal lighting. Digital videostroboscopy is a diagnostic examination that is performed using a narrow, flexible, lighted tube. This allows the doctor to observe the vocal cords and surrounding tissue up close, and to record the movement of the vocal cords to help diagnose the cause of certain symptoms. This brief exam is used to evaluate the vocal cords and surrounding structures for signs of acid reflux, polyps or other growths, or irritation that could be causing hoarseness.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Digital Videostroboscopy?
Videostroboscopy is a diagnostic office procedure that enables your ENT doctor to examine your larynx in the most minimally-invasive manner. This exam may be recommended if you present with persistent vocal cord complaints such as hoarseness, a foreign body sensation, or recurrent laryngitis.
What are the Benefits of a Digital Videostroboscopy?
This observation of the vocal cords is the most minimally-invasive technique currently available. Without surgery, the videostroboscopy procedure can evaluate the larynx and vocal cords in real-time. The endoscopic camera also records the test so the doctor can observe it later if necessary, or use it as a baseline for subsequent evaluations. The observation of the vocal cords and how they function helps the doctor devise a treatment plan that is appropriately tailored to your needs.
What Conditions can it Detect?
The digital videostroboscopy procedure can detect a number of anomalies that may affect vocal cord functioning. These include ineffective muscle movements and vocal cord vibrations, abnormal growths, and anatomical irregularities.
Will I be Sedated for My Digital Videostrovoscopy?
Sedation is not used during this brief office procedure. However, the doctor does administer a numbing medication before beginning the exam. While it can feel odd to have the narrow tube in place, it does not hurt. The anesthetic is easily delivered in spray form, and it maintains consistent numbing effects throughout the procedure. If you have any questions about your exam, please do not hesitate to ask! We want you to know what to expect, how to communicate with us if you need to, and how we’ll ensure you’re as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
The Digital Videostroboscopy Procedure
Before the endoscope is inserted, the patient’s nasal passages are numbed with a local anesthetic. Once the tube is inserted through the patient’s nasal cavity into the throat, the endoscope is positioned close to the vocal cords. Using a rhythmically flashing light passed through the tube, a miniature video camera records images as the patient vocalizes. Not only can these images be viewed in real time, they can be recorded for later scrutiny.
While the digital videostroboscopy is generally a painless procedure, some patients may experience an uncomfortable gagging sensation or the urge to swallow. There is no recovery time necessary after this procedure which only lasts for 10 to 15 minutes. Patients can return to their normal activities as soon as the videostroboscopy is over.
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