Stroboscopy: Everything you Need to Know

Stroboscopy is a diagnostic instrument used in the field of speech therapy.

Alternative Names



Diagnostic instruments used in the field of Phoniatrics consist of an optical system (rigid or flexible endoscopy) and a fractional or burst light source (stroboscope). It allows the study of the vibration of the vocal cords, which is essential for the emission of the voice.

Unlike other methods of studying the mobility of the vocal cords, stroboscopy allows visualizing the surface of the mucosa that covers the vocal cords and the detection of small alterations in their vibration that are not visible by other means.

How Is The Study Done?

The stroboscopy is performed by the specialist in Phoniatrics or in Otorhinolaryngology and is usually performed in his or her office or in adapted rooms.

In stroboscopy with a flexible endoscope, the patient sits comfortably in an armchair, with the head turned forward and the chin tilted slightly downward. The patient is asked to breathe normally through the mouth while the examiner slowly inserts the endoscope (shaped like a rubber or wire) through one nostril; he is then asked to begin breathing through his nose until the endoscope is positioned in the larynx. Once the placement is complete, you will be asked to perform different actions such as whistling, speaking, or whispering, to study the different functions of the larynx and vocal cords. The study does not require the use of sedatives or anesthetics.

In stroboscopy with a rigid endoscope, the patient remains seated on an armchair, the position of the head and chin will depend on the angle presented by the chosen endoscope. The introduction of the endoscope is done through the mouth and often the explorer will hold the patient’s tongue with the help of sterile gauze to aid in placement. It may require the use of an anesthetic prior to the introduction of the endoscope if the patient becomes nauseated during the study.

Study Preparation

No prior preparation by the patient is required.

How Did You Feel During And After The Study?

The study using a stroboscope is painless, although some patients may present laryngeal discomfort or nausea during its placement.

Your doctor may administer a topical anesthetic (such as lidocaine spray) to minimize discomfort.

After the study, slight discomfort or nasopharyngeal irritation may appear that will disappear over the course of hours or with the taking of an anti-inflammatory.

Study Risks

During the study may appear:

  • Allergy to the drug (anesthetic) used during the examination.
  • Mild nasopharyngeal irritation

Contraindications Of The Study

The patient should consult their doctor before carrying out the study in case of:

Taking or using anticoagulants

What Is The Study For?

The study stroboscopy is a relatively simple and safe technique widely used in the field of Phoniatrics since it offers very useful information for the doctor. It allows the detection of very subtle alterations in the vibration of the mucosal surface of the vocal cords that are generally related to the presence of very early lesions such as polyps, nodules, infectious lesions, or small tumor lesions, most of which must be treated later by means of the use of specific treatments.

Laryngostroboscopy is an essential test in the study of patients with dysphonia.

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