The throat is a crucial organ for breathing, swallowing, and our ability to make vocal sounds. Our throat is also clearly linked to our wellbeing. Who has not experienced their voice breaking when emotional, or felt a lump in the throat when sad or anxious? Studies have shown that the human voice can communicate 24 different emotions.

Throat problems may include throat pain, difficulty swallowing or painful swallowing, and a sensation of a lump in the throat, amongst many others. Problems of the voice also belong to this category. As the mouth is anatomically closely related to the throat, mouth problems are included here as well, such as a painful ulcer in the mouth, tongue pain or a burning sensation of the tongue. You or your child may also suffer from recurrent acute or chronic tonsillitis (infection of the tonsils).

During your consultation for throat problems, examination may include one or more of the following:

Intraoral inspection-this is an examination to assess your mouth, back of the mouth and tongue. Sometimes we will examine your tongue with a gloved finger to assess for any lumps, to feel the aspect base of your tongue and evaluate your tonsils.

Flexible endoscopy-this involves inserting a small camera into your nasal cavity to inspect the back of your nose, your throat and voice box. The endoscope we use is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny, built-in camera at the tip of it. When done for throat problems, flexible endoscopy allows us to examine your throat and voice box. During the examination you will be asked to make certain sounds, which helps us assess your vocal cords better. Flexible endoscopy is done awake, but at your request a local anesthetic (numbing) spray can be used. In children, a smaller size endoscope is used. In some cases we choose to combine this examination with a surgical procedure under general anesthesia, especially in children.

Palpation of (feeling) the neck- feeling the neck to assess for any abnormalities such as swellings is part of the general ENT examination, especially in case of throat problems. 

Endoscopy under general anesthesia-sometimes we are not able to visualize your throat in an optimal manner in our clinic room. In those cases we will arrange an examination under general anesthesia in order to fully examine your throat, mouth and/or base of tongue. This procedure will take place as a daycase at one of our surgical clinics.

Imaging– in some cases, a CT- or MRI scan is needed to assess your throat better. This will take place in one of our other clinics. We will book two appointments: one for your scan, and a follow-up appointment at one of our clinics to discuss your results together.

Transnasal esophagoscopy-TNE is an in-office test we can perform to diagnose a problem with your esophagus or stomach. TNE involves inserting a narrow tube into your nose. You swallow the tube, and a light and a tiny camera on the end help us see your esophagus and stomach. If needed, we may take biopsies. This is a simple procedure which does not hurt. There are several benefits to doing the procedure in the office while you are awake including cost savings and avoiding the risks of anesthesia. The TNE has similar effectiveness as traditional sedated esophagoscopy but the tube is much thinner and therefore better tolerated.