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What is a microlaryngoscopy?

It is a procedure to obtain a view of the vocal cords. A small flexible tube is inserted into the mouth. This tube contains a camera and a light in order to view both the vocal cords and the surrounding areas. “Micro” refers to getting a very close (magnified) view of the area to see every tiny detail. This can be done with a special telescope or operating microscope.

How long will it take?

Microlaryngoscopy takes about 60 to 90 minutes, depending on why it is needed. This includes the anaesthetic, procedure and time spent in the recovery room.

What happens when my child comes back?

On return to the Day Unit, your child may be upset and confused and will usually respond to you comforting them. They may be thirsty which will add to their discomfort.

When can my child eat and drink again?

You will be informed when you can start to give your child a drink; this is usually 60 minutes post procedure.

Whilst in theatre your child’s throat is sprayed with a local anaesthetic which takes time to wear off. If your child uses a dummy or soother, this can be used. Once your child is drinking, they will be allowed some light food that the ward will provide.

When will I be able to take my child home?

This will be decided by your treating doctor. In some cases children may be able to return home four hours post procedure. Your child will need to have been reviewed by the doctor, be tolerating food and returned to normal behaviour. Most children stay overnight. Your child may not be able to go home because they:

  • have a temperature post procedure
  • have breathing difficulties
  • are not taking diet and fluids
  • need to continue treatment after the microlaryngoscopy
  • need to be monitored overnight.

The nurses in the ward will discuss with you any changes to the discharge plan.

Care at home

Breathing difficulty

If your child develops any airway or breathing difficulty please call 000 or go to your closest hospital that treats children.

High temperature

If you child develops a temperature go to your closest hospital that treats children.

Pain relief

Your child may experience discomfort in their throat. Simple pain relief such as paracetamol can be given as advised by product packaging. If your child requires additional pain relief, check with your child's doctor before giving. 


Some children may vomit after the procedure. If your child vomits offer sips of clear fluid and dry toast or biscuits. If vomiting continues after 24 hours go to your closest hospital that treats children.


Your child should have a quiet day after the procedure and resume normal activities the following day.

Follow up visit

A follow up appointment will be discussed with you before you leave.

Emergency contact

To ensure your child receives the best possible care in an emergency, you should call 000 or go to your nearest Emergency Department. 

If you have any concerns or questions please contact your doctor.

Contact Mater Children’s Private Brisbane

Salmon Building,

Raymond Terrace,

South Brisbane QLD 4101

Telephone: 07 3163 8111


Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-470024
Last modified 29/4/2020.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 01/10/2019
For further translated health information, you can visit healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/ supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that offers a range of patient information in multiple languages.
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