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What is a nasendoscopy or nasopharyngoscopy?

A nasendoscopy and a nasopharyngoscopy are both procedures that use a small flexible, fiberoptic camera called an endoscope to view the nose, throat, and upper airway. Information from these examinations helps medical professionals at Gillette diagnose and treat a variety of medical conditions.


What are the differences between a nasendoscopy and a nasopharyngoscopy?

Nasendoscopy and nasopharyngoscopy are similar procedures that use the same equipment (i.e., a small fiberoptic camera connected to a computer), but they evaluate different areas and functions of the body.



A nasendoscopy is performed by an Otolaryngologist, also known as an Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) physician

The camera is inserted into the nose or mouth to assess the nasal passages, oral cavity, pharynx (i.e., throat), larynx (i.e., voice box), and upper airway. Its job is to view problems related to breathing, speaking, or swallowing.

It may be completed in coordination with speech-language pathology for a swallowing evaluation called Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) or as part of an upper airway examination through the Aerodigestive Clinic.



A nasopharyngoscopy is performed by a Speech-Language Pathologist. The camera is inserted into the nose to assess the nasal passages and soft palate.

It views velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD) and voice disorders only. The purpose is to determine if surgery is warranted to correct VPD - a problem where the soft palate does not close against the back of the throat when talking, causing nasal speech or other problems.

It is often completed in coordination with craniofacial/plastic surgery as part of a cleft palate/craniofacial or VPD appointment.


What happens during a nasendoscopy and nasopharyngoscopy?

Your child will sit in a chair or on your lap. We encourage them to sit as still as possible. If needed, your child may take a sedative such as Versed to help them relax for the procedure but stay awake for it.

The doctor or nurse often sprays a mixture of nasal decongestant and topical anesthetic into the child's nose to help open the nasal passages and minimize feeling during the exam.

After inserting the scope, the child will move in specific ways or say different words or sounds. We record the exam so we can review the video and make an appropriate diagnosis or treatment recommendation.


What happens after a nasendoscopy or nasopharyngoscopy?

After the exam, the doctor or speech-language pathologist will review the exam and discuss treatment options with you. In some cases, recommendations may include surgical treatment. Because the child’s nose and throat may be numb or tingly after the exam, they may not swallow as easily. Avoid eating and drinking for approximately 90 minutes after the exam if possible. If your child received a sedative before the exam, they might be dizzy for up to 90 minutes after the exam.

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