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Laryngoscopy is a visual examination below the back of the throat, where the voice box (larynx) containing the vocal cords is located. … The procedure is relatively painless, but the idea of having a scope inserted into the throat can be a little scary, so it helps to understand how a laryngoscopy is done.

There are different types of laryngoscopy:

  • In a direct laryngoscopy, the doctor can use different types of laryngoscopes, which are long, thin instruments with a light and a lens or small video camera on the end.
  • The laryngoscope is put in through your nose or mouth and down your throat. Some laryngoscopes are flexible (fiber-optic), while others are rigid (stiff).
  • The choice of which type to use depends on why it’s being done.
  • For an indirect laryngoscopy, the doctor aims a light at the back of the throat, usually by wearing headgear that has a bright light attached, and uses a small, tilted mirror held at the back of the throat to see the vocal cords.