Microlaryngeal surgery is a minimally invasive procedure used to biopsy or remove abnormal growths, such as granulomas or benign cysts, in the larynx. It is usually performed to correct voice disorders or to diagnose or treat laryngeal cancer. The majority of microscopic voice surgery procedures, though performed on an outpatient basis, are performed under general anesthesia to minimize the danger of gagging or breathing problems. Patients who undergo microlaryngeal surgery typically recover more quickly than patients who undergo more traditional laryngeal surgery. They also have a superior outcome in terms of voice quality.
Microlaryngeal surgery is performed through a laryngoscope, a thin lighted tube with a camera on the end that allows the doctor to visualize the area with great precision. Once the laryngoscope is inserted through the nose into the throat, and the lesion is located, the surgeon removes the abnormal growth using tiny surgical tools that have been threaded through the laryngoscope to the affected site. Because this technique permits the surgeon to perform the operation with great accuracy, only the damaged tissue is excised. The surrounding area remains unharmed.
Following the procedure, the patient is monitored for several hours before returning home. Most patients experience some level of discomfort after the surgery, but often respond well to over-the-counter pain relievers. If the pain is more significant, a corticosteroid may be prescribed for short-term use. Acid reflux medication may also be recommended to ensure that stomach acid does not irritate of the healing tissue. Complete voice rest is required during the initial weeks following surgery. Postoperative voice therapy is typically prescribed to assist in improving and maintaining voice quality.
While microlaryngeal surgery is extremely safe, like any surgery, it involves some risks. These include the risk of allergic reaction to general anesthesia or medication and the risk of developing breathing difficulties, especially in individuals with pre-existing heart or lung problems. Specific risks from the pressure of the laryngoscope include pain or numbness to the tongue or lips or, more rarely, dental injury.
- National Institutes of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- U.S. National Library of Medicine
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