Microlaryngoscopy is a surgical procedure performed through a surgical instrument called a laryngoscope that is placed through the mouth to expose the vocal folds. A microscope is used to examine the vocal folds in detail. Using this technique, vocal fold lesions (such as cysts, polyps, papilloma, nodules or cancer) are removed without making any external incisions.
Microlaryngoscopy: Postoperative Instructions
What to Expect
You may have a sore throat and/or tongue after the surgery, owing to pressure from the surgical laryngoscope. However this discomfort is usually mild, and lasts no more than 24-48 hours.
Your voice will be hoarse after the surgery for 1-3 weeks, and will gradually improve.
Please do not smoke after the operation.
There are no specific dietary restrictions following surgery. As some people may experience some nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, a light meal is recommended after the operation. You may resume your normal diet the following day. It is important to drink plenty of water, as good hydration is beneficial for the vocal folds. Avoid caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, coke) and alcohol.
Voice rest is important after surgery on the vocal folds.
Total voice rest is recommended for the first 2 days following surgery, and is followed by 5 days of limited voice rest. Longer periods of voice rest may be required in some cases.
Total voice rest means that no sound should be produced at all - no speaking, singing, whispering, humming, whistling, coughing or throat clearing.
Limited voice rest means using a normal conversational voice, and minimizing the amount of time you use it. Limit your voice use to approximately 15 minutes per hour. You should only speak to someone who is within arm's reach so that you avoid raising your voice. You should also avoid using the telephone.
Coughing & Throat Clearing
It is important to avoid coughing and throat clearing as these can be harmful to the vocal folds, especially when they are healing after surgery. If you have the sensation of mucus in the throat take a sip of water to clear the mucus. If the sensation persists you can use an air cough or singer's cough. To clear mucus using this technique take a deep breathe in, and then rapidly and forcefully breathe out without making any sound. This sounds like a huff.
You may require anti-reflux medications (eg. omeprazole) or steroid medications (eg. prednisone) after the surgery. Dr Vokes will advise you about this.