Transnasal esophagoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure used to evaluate and treat conditions of the esophagus. This procedure can identify diseases of the esophagus, determine the cause of symptoms, remove growths and swallowed objects or stretch narrowed areas. A transnasal esophagoscopy uses an esophagoscope, which is a thin tube with a light and camera on the end that is inserted into the nose and fed through the mouth to the esophagus. The doctor is able to view the area in real time on a video monitor in order to identify any abnormalities in the area that may be causing difficulty breathing, swallowing or eating.
During the transnasal esophagoscopy procedure, the nose is first numbed with a local anesthetic before the endoscope is inserted into the nose and to the throat. The doctor can examine the throat and voice box in real-time and the endoscope will then be advanced into the esophagus and stomach, if necessary, for further examination. There is no preparation necessary for this procedure, as there are with many other diagnostic exams. An esophagoscopy takes less than ten minutes and is a generally safe procedure with few rare risks such as bleeding or puncturing of the intestinal wall.
After a transnasal esophagoscopy, patients may experience a dry or sore throat or coughing from the procedure. These symptoms usually go away quickly, and can be relieved by drinking plenty of water. There is no recovery period from an esophagoscopy and patients can return to their normal activities immediately.
The doctor will discuss the results of the procedure with the patient and develop an ideal treatment approach for their individual condition.