What Is Videostroboscopy?
Videostroboscopy is the latest state of the art technique used for evaluating any abnormalities in the vocal cords. This technique involves video recording in combination with a procedure called stroboscopy for evaluating the vocal cords and identify any abnormalities. This technique is normally used for individuals with any sort of speech abnormality.
When an individual speaks, the vocal folds in the larynx vibrate because of which sounds are expressed. The rate at which the vocal folds vibrate is way to fast and it becomes virtually impossible to evaluate the vocal cords when an individual speaks.
What stroboscopy does is that it emits light impulses which are a bit slower than the frequency at which the vocal cords vibrate and through the strobe light that is emitted by this instrument the vocal cords appear to move much slower allowing the physician to evaluate any abnormality in the vocal cords.
The evaluation is done usually by a rigid endoscope which is inserted through the mouth or a flexible endoscope which is inserted through the nose and into the larynx. This endoscope has a minature camera attached to it which allows visualization of the vocal cords. A video recording of the whole procedure is done which is used for further evaluation and observing the results of the videostroboscopy.
Why Is Videostroboscopy Done?
The main purpose of a videostroboscopy is to visualize and evaluate the vocal cords looking for any abnormalities such as hoarseness of voice or other dysfunction caused by swelling of the vocal cords. Vocal cords can swell due to overuse of the vocal cords like constant shouting or screaming like when in a rock concert or when delivering speeches at a public gathering for a long period of time.
Videostroboscopy is also quite helpful to determine the presence of any lesions in the vocal cords, inflammation, or other disorders of the vocal cords. This study is also helpful to assess the function of the voice box. If an individual has problems with swallowing then a cause for this can also be assessed through videostroboscopy.
How Is Videostroboscopy Done?
In order to do a videostroboscopy, the patient will be asked to sit straight with just a slight forward lean. The patient will then be administered a topical anesthetic in the throat to make the patient comfortable throughout the procedure and also suppress the gag reflex.
A flexible or a rigid endoscope is then inserted through the mouth or the nose. The patient will then be asked to perform certain tasks involving the vocal cords like reciting a poem or sing. This is when the vocal cords will be evaluated through stroboscopy. The whole procedure is video recorded. The entire procedure takes about 15-20 minutes.
Once the patient is through with the videostroboscopy procedure, the results of the procedure is then discussed with the patient and in case of any abnormality found during videostroboscopy a detailed treatment plan and appropriate referral is discussed for treatment of the abnormality found on videostroboscopy.