Jefferson University Hospitals

Laryngoscopy with Biopsy

A laryngoscopy with biopsy is one of many in the work-up and treatment of head and neck cancers at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.

What Does Laryngoscopy with Biopsy Involve?

The laryngoscopy carries out two functions:

  1. The first is to best characterize the primary tumor, its size, invasion, extent and what structures are involved. At this time, our pathologists receive biopsies to determine the type of cancer. This will aid in formulating the best treatment options and reconstructive considerations.
  2. Secondly, the surgeon will use direct laryngoscopy to look at the lining of your mouth, throat and larynx (voice box).

Esophagoscopy is used by head and neck surgeons at Jefferson to look at the lining of the esophagus all the way to the entrance to the stomach, and finally a bronchoscopy will be used to look at the lining of the trachea (windpipe). This is done to ensure no other tumors have developed elsewhere.

Tracheostomy to Protect Your Airway

Depending on the location and type of tumor you have, a tracheostomy or stomach feeding tube may be needed. Your surgeon will discuss the need for either of these options. Before or during treatment, the tumor and swelling could compromise your ability to breathe. Should you need a tracheostomy, the main purpose is to protect your airway.

Tracheotomies are often temporary and remain only through treatment.

After the surgery, you will stay in the hospital for two days while our nursing staff teaches you how to care for the trach and/or feeding tube, should you need one. If your procedure involves only a biopsy, then you likely will go home the same day.