Nasal endoscopy

What is a Nasal Endoscopy?

A nasal endoscopy is an examination of the nose, sinuses, and throat using a thin, lighted instrument known as an endoscope. The endoscope has a tiny camera and light attached to the end. The camera relays images of the lining of the nose, sinuses, and throat to a monitor for the physician to examine.

Preparation for Nasal Endoscopy

Patients should stop taking aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and blood thinners such as warfarin several days prior to the procedure. The doctor may also advise that the patient does not eat or drink anything for several hours before the test. Some people may be asked to use a decongestant nasal spray, or the physician may prescribe a mild sedative to relax the patient during the test. The patient may be given a throat spray to numb the throat as well.

Nasal Endoscopy Procedure

A nasal endoscopy can be performed in an outpatient clinic or a doctor’s office. During a nasal endoscopy, the doctor will gently insert the endoscope into the nostril and guide it through the nasal cavity. The doctor will be able to view the lining of the nose and assess for any abnormalities such as inflammation, polyps, or tumors. The doctor may also use suction to remove mucus, pus, or other secretions. The doctor may also use an instrument to take a sample of tissue (biopsy) to examine in the lab. This is especially important if any suspicious abnormalities are detected.

Types of Nasal Endoscopy

  • Transoral Endoscopy – a standard nasal endoscopy that is done with the patient in an upright position.
  • Transnasal Endoscopy – an endoscopy done with the patient lying down.
  • Laser Endoscopy – a procedure that uses a laser to remove polyps or other growths in the nasal passages.
  • Video Endoscopy – a type of endoscopy where the patient is given a sedative prior to the procedure and a small video camera is used to view the inside of the nose.

Risks of Nasal Endoscopy

Nasal endoscopy is generally a safe procedure with few risks. However, some people may experience bleeding, pain, infection, or injuries to the nose and throat. There is also risk of general anesthesia, if it is necessary for the procedure.

Why is Nasal Endoscopy Done?

A nasal endoscopy is used to diagnose and treat problems in the nose, airways, sinuses, and throat. It is commonly used to diagnose nasal and sinus allergies, sinusitis, and polyps. It can also be used to evaluate the size and shape of the nasal passages, to look for large tonsils, and to detect tumors or other abnormalities.

When is Nasal Endoscopy Needed?

Nasal endoscopy may be advised for any of the following conditions: chronic sinusitis, nasal obstruction, nasal allergies, sinus headaches, recurrent sinus infections, deviated septum, nasal polyps, and tumors. It may also be used to diagnose sleep apnea.