January 25, 2023

How is a Throat Biopsy Performed?

Not uncommonly, a mass is discovered in a patient's throat whether by endoscopy or discovered on a CT or MRI scan incidentally. Depending on the concern (ie cancer), a biopsy of the mass may be pursued. The question many patients have is exactly how the biopsy is obtained given the growth is not easily accessible (unlike a growth in the mouth which can typically be biopsied in the clinic without sedation).

There are basically two "flavors" of how a throat biopsy is obtained. If the growth is tiny and located within the voicebox, such as a vocal cord cyst, the procedure that is performed is called "micro direct laryngoscopy" given a microscope is needed in order to obtain a magnified view of the mass to more easily remove it. If the mass is large and located anywhere else in the throat, the more typical procedure is called "direct laryngoscopy" which is performed without any image magnification.

The two videos shown here demonstrate how both procedures are performed to obtain a throat biopsy.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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