Nasal endoscopy, also called rhinoscopy, is a procedure performed to visualize your nasal passages, sinuses and vocal cords for abnormalities, remove sample tissue for biopsy and treat the underlying condition. The endoscope is a thin, rigid or flexible tube with a light source and camera attached at one end to view internal structures. Images are recorded and displayed on a monitor for your physician to view.
Your doctor may order a nasal endoscopy if you have frequent sinus infections or sinus headaches, blocked nose, breathing difficulties, excessive nasal drainage or facial pain. It can help diagnose nasal polyps, tumors, sinusitis, deviated nasal septum, laryngeal injury, or foreign objects.
To perform nasal endoscopy, your nose is sprayed with a local anesthetic, which may be applied to your throat as well to reduce the gag reflex. Your doctor then inserts the scope through your nose and down your throat while studying the nasal structures, sinuses and larynx. If necessary, instruments can be passed through the scope to obtain tissue samples, remove blockages, polys, tumors or suction out excessive mucus. A little discomfort may be felt as the scope advances. If you feel like sneezing, inform your doctor. Occasionally, a nosebleed may occur. The procedure takes around 10-15 minutes.
You must not eat or drink anything until the numbness from the local anesthesia subsides, after which you may resume your usual activities.