What is stroboscopy?

Stroboscopy is direct examination of the vocal cords and surrounding structures with the use of a stroboscope. The stroboscope is a metal instrument about as big around as an index finger and ten inches long. It does not go down your throat.

Why is stroboscopy done?

A stroboscopy allows the doctor to look at the vocal cords and the surrounding structures.

How is stroboscopy performed?

The back of the throat is sprayed with a medicine that numbs your mouth and throat. A microphone, which will pick up the sound of your voice, is clipped to your shirt. You will be asked to hold another microphone on your neck during the procedure, which takes two to three minutes.
You will need to sit straight up in a chair, lean forward and tilt your head upward. You will be asked to stick out your tongue during the procedure, and the doctor will assist you by holding onto your tongue with a gauze pad. The stroboscope is then placed in the back of your mouth. You will be asked to make some sounds, which lets the doctor watch the vocal cords move.

Activity following a stroboscopy:

Do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after your throat is sprayed with the numbing medication, as eating or drinking when the back of your throat is numb could lead to choking or getting something into the trachea or lungs.

If you have additional concerns or questions, please ask your nurse or doctor.