Video laryngeal stroboscopy (VLS) is a procedure done to evaluate the motion of the vocal cords. It allows the physician to tell the difference between different lesions of the vocal cords that can affect the voice. It is used when there is a complaint of a voice disorder such as hoarseness or loss of voice.
This procedure is most often performed in the office, and may be recommended during your child’s initial evaluation with a pediatric otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon) in the Voice Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Your child’s surgeon will discuss this recommendation with you prior to performing the test to ensure it is done as comfortably as possible for your child.
The procedure is done while the child is awake and in the sitting position. A thin flexible tube with a camera is placed into the child’s nose and advanced through the nose into the back of the throat to the roof of the mouth. An anesthetic spray is used in the nose to numb the nasal passage and throat to minimize discomfort.
Once the scope is in position, the voice box and vocal cords can be seen. The child will be asked to perform several voice exercises while the scope is in place. The image will be recorded so it can later be reviewed. The entire procedure takes about 2 minutes and can be watched live on a monitor so the child and caregiver can observe what is being done.
Because children have to cooperate with the voice exercises, most children will need to be of school age to be able to undergo this exam. There may be special circumstances when this procedure is used in younger children, but this is unusual. It can be uncomfortable, but it is not painful. Your child’s surgeon will talk to you about other potential risks of a video stroboscopy before proceeding.
There are normally no problems after a VLS is performed, nor is there typically pain in the nose after the scope is removed.
On rare occasions, there can be a small amount of bleeding from the nose once the procedure is completed. If you have concerns after your child has had a VLS, please contact the office or seek medical attention.
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