Flexible Nasoendoscopy

What is flexible nasoendoscopy?

flexible-nasoendoscopyFlexible nasal endoscopy is a procedure that is used to look inside the nasal cavity, back of the nose, voice box and back of the throat and tongue. An endoscope is a type of flexible telescope.


It is a very common and quick procedure which does not require general anaesthesia, and can be performed under local topical anaesthesia in the outpatient clinic, ward or emergency department.

Why do i need flexible nasoendoscopy?

Patients who have problems with the ear, nose, throat or voice box may need to have this procedure.

What can i expect with flexible nasoendoscopy?

The endoscope is a narrow, thin flexible tube telescope with a bright light. In a standard fiberoptic endoscope, the image is transmitted through lots of very fine glass fibres to an eyepiece or camera. Sometimes a video camera is sited at the end of the endoscope and the picture is displayed on a screen.


This thin flexible tube is passed through the nostril and allows us to examine the nasal cavity and back of your nose, back of the tongue, throat and/or voice box whilst you are awake. Looking at these areas helps us make a diagnosis. You may be asked to swallow or breathe through your nose.


You can breathe in and out through your nose and mouth during the procedure. You may also be asked to say some words, noises or sentences out loud. 


The procedure usually only lasts a few minutes and can be performed with or without local anaesthetic. There are minimal after effects, though the sensation in the nose and throat can take an hour to return to normal if local anaesthetic is used. During this time you should not eat or drink hot foods or beverages until the anaesthetic wears off. Some people find the loss of sensation very uncomfortable as they feel like they cannot breathe or swallow saliva. Patients will receive their nasal endoscopy findings immediately after the procedure.


With flexible nasoendoscopy risk of disease transmission is minimal as the scope is sterilized between patients with a specialized commercial solution.

What are the risks of Flexible Nasoendoscopy?

Flexible endoscopy is a very safe procedure for both children and adults. In children the procedure may trigger breath-holding attacks, so the procedure should be performed in an environment with nursing staff and equipment to help with breathing.


The nose may feel uncomfortable and you may feel the sensation of something in your throat, and may also cause your eyes to water. The procedure may trigger a cough. Rarely, patients may experience a nose bleed after the procedure.


Flexible nasendoscopy has the potential to produce airborne aerosols and droplets should you sneeze or cough during the procedure. If local anaesthetic is used, it may be put in to your nose up to 10 minutes before the procedure.

What are some Frequently Asked Questions about Flexible Nasoendoscopy?

Am I awake during the procedure?



Can I drive after the test?



How long does it take?

Less than one to two minutes is common, though the procedure may take longer. 


Will I need any medication?

The flexible endoscope is covered in water-based lubricant, which allows the telescope to slide more easily past tight areas. A local anaesthetic and/or decongestant spray maybe used.


Will I feel the telescope?

You will usually feel the endoscope sliding in. You may feel the telescope at some points of the procedure even if an anaesthetic spray is used.


Will I be able to see what is happening?

Yes, you will be able to watch the procedure in real time.


Can I eat and drink before the procedure?



Can I eat and drink after the procedure?

If local anaesthetic has been used you should not eat or drink for about 20 minutes to an hour (or until your nose and throat feel normal again). You will be told if you cannot eat and drink after the procedure.