Ear-nose-throat (ENT) endoscopy

What is an ENT endoscopy?

ENT endoscopy is a visual exploration of the mucosa of the upper aerodigestive tract.

An endoscope, i.e. a rigid or flexible tube connected to a camera with a light at its end, is inserted through the mouth or nose for this examination.

What is the purpose of an ENT endoscopy?

In addition to the merely visual examination aimed at detecting possible lesions of the mucosa, determining the extent of a tumor and searching for other associated lesions, endoscopy offers the opportunity to carry out a series of complementary examinations, such as cell sampling, biopsies (collection of small pieces of tissue), and bacteriological or immunological examinations.


The examination lasts approximately 30 minutes. If a general anesthesia is necessary, the anesthesia and recovery time must be added.

How to prepare for it?

No special preparation is needed for an examination without anesthesia.

In the case of general anesthesia, you must fast for 6 hours before the exam. Always inform your doctor of any allergies or medications you are taking.


Often uncomfortable but not painful, the endoscope is introduced through the mouth or nose and advanced to the organs to be examined. In the case of a biopsy or a more thorough examination, the endoscopy is performed under general anesthesia.

Risks and discomforts

Transient neck pain may be experienced due to the position of the head during the examination. If a biopsy is performed, a small bleeding in the form of bloody sputum can happen.

Small wounds on the lips, tongue, or gums, abnormal mobility of the teeth due to the instruments used (hence the importance of mentioning the presence of prostheses, bridges, etc.) as well as a transient change in the voice may be observed.


Any medical procedure, exploration, or intervention on the human body, even if carried out in competent and safe conditions in accordance with current medical data and regulations, involves a risk of complications.

If a major airway obstruction prevents proper ventilation, a tracheotomy may have to be performed.

In exceptional cases, a perforation of the digestive tract may require surgical intervention.


Otolaryngology consultation secretariat - ENT

+32 2 764 19 42
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