What is fibroscopy?

Fibroscopy is an endoscopic examination used mainly in Otolaryngology. It uses a flexible fiber optic instrument connected to a cold light source, a camera and a monitor that allows the direct exploration of body cavities.

Fibroscopy allows precise analysis of the respiratory tract.

What does it consist of?

Fibroscopy consists of the introduction of a camera equipped with a light source into various cavities to be explored, especially in the respiratory tract (nose and mucous membranes, and throat). With the fiberscope connected to a camera, the specialist will be able to illuminate, explore and visualize the inside of the nose, pharynx and larynx, with the aim of making a more precise diagnosis.

Why is it performed?

In Otolaryngology, fibroscopy is used to explore the nose, rhinopharynx, nasopharynx, hypopharynx and larynx. This allows precise diagnoses to be made. Depending on the area to be examined, the technique is given a specific name. Thus, nasal examination with fibroscopy is called nasofibroscopy, examination of the larynx fibrolaryngoscopy and examination of the entire upper airway is called nasofibrolaryngoscopy.

In particular, it is used in patients with throat, nose or ear problems. Fibroscopy is frequently performed for the diagnosis of: sinusitis, blocked nose, sleep apnea, tumors, nasal polyposis, deviated nasal septum, dysphonia, nodules, polyps, cysts or tumors in vocal cords and gastroesophageal reflux.

Other less common applications are the exploration of the glottis and trachea area, as well as the main bronchi in patients wearing a tracheostomy tube.

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Preparation for fibroscopy

In principle, no special preparation is necessary to undergo fibroscopy. In case the patient has a special gag reflex the specialist will apply some topical anesthesia in the form of a spray (which is not normally necessary).

What does the examination feel like?

Fibroscopy involves a little discomfort because the fiber produces a small friction on the nasal and/or pharyngeal mucosa. In most cases it is tolerated and can be performed without anesthesia. It does not produce a choking sensation and normally does not cause nausea. However, if the area is more sensitive or the patient has a significant gag reflex, some spray anesthesia may be required.

Significance of abnormal results

Fibroscopy can be used to diagnose airway dysfunction or pathology. The specialist who performs the test will be the one who, according to the results, will consider the best therapeutic option. However, as it is a very precise test, it allows to visualize in a very concrete way any throat, nose, larynx or pharynx problem.