120 E 56th Street | Suite 300
New York, NY 10022

What to Expect at Your Visit

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What to Expect at Your Visit

The goal of a good laryngeal (vocal cord) exam is to get the best visualization possible and keep a record of every visit for comparison. As a voice professional it is also important for YOU to see your vocal cords so you can learn to associate how you feel with how they look. You can also see how you are progressing and not just have to take the doctor’s word for it. The goal is to empower you to understand your individual instrument so you know when to rest and when to seek help.

  1. Once you are checked in, you will be escorted to an exam room.
  2. You will meet with Dr. Dahl and discuss your symptoms, then she will perform an exam of your ears, nose and throat.
  3. She will then examine your larynx, or voice box with a laryngoscope.
    • She uses what is called a “rigid laryngoscope,” which is a metal rod with an angled lens at the tip.
    • If you have a strong gag reflex, you will be offered numbing spray for your throat.
    • The scope is inserted into your mouth, while she pulls your tongue forward and out of the way.
    • Once the scope is situated properly, you are asked to vocalize.
    • The laryngeal exam is digitally recorded for image capture and video playback, which she will review with you immediately afterwards.
    • You can record the images and video with your phone so you can also keep a record.
  4. Treatment advice is then offered.
  5. If you cannot tolerate the rigid laryngoscope a flexible laryngoscope will be used. This scope is placed through your nose and down your throat to visualize your vocal cords. The image is not as clear, but it gives some valid information. It is also recorded for future reference.
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Linda D. Dahl, MD