Topical Anesthesia for Endoscopic Office-based Procedures of the Upper Aerodigestive Tract
SourceJournal of Voice, 33, 5, (2019), pp. 732-746
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Voice
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVE: Over the last two decades, an increase in office-based procedures under topical anesthesia in laryngology and head and neck oncology has occurred. Adequate anesthesia in the nasal cavity, pharynx, and larynx is essential for successful performance of these procedures. Our goal is to provide an objective summary on the available local anesthetics, methods of application, local secondary effects, efficacy, and complications. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A descriptive review of literature on topical anesthesia for office-based procedures in laryngology and head and neck oncology was performed. RESULTS: Lidocaine is the most applied and investigated topical anesthetic. Topical anesthesia results in decreased sensory function without impairing motor function of the pharynx and larynx. For the nasal cavity, cotton pledgets soaked in anesthetic spray and decongestant, or anesthetic gel, are effective. For the pharynx, anesthetic spray is the most frequently used and effective method. For the larynx, applying local anesthesia through a catheter through the working channel of the endoscope or anesthetic injection through the cricothyroid membrane is effective. Studies comparing the most effective application methods for each anatomical site are lacking. Complications of topical lidocaine administration are rare. CONCLUSIONS: By properly applying topical anesthesia to the upper aerodigestive tract, several surgical procedures in laryngology and head and neck oncology can be performed in the outpatient clinic under topical anesthesia instead of the operating room under general anesthesia. Lidocaine is the most investigated anesthetic, with adequate efficacy and few complications. Studies that determine the most effective application methods are still wanting.
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