Neck Mass Examination under Anesthesia

What is Examination (Endoscopy) under Anesthesia?

Examination under anesthesia is performed by a surgeon to evaluate the back of your throat, voice box, the back of your nose, upper trachea (breathing tube) and upper esophagus (swallowing tube).

Why Do I Need an Examination under Anesthesia?

This test allows a complete evaluation of the back of your nose and throat, your voice box, the windpipe, and esophagus (swallowing tube). If your doctor sees an area of concern, they will take a small piece of tissue for evaluation (biopsy).

How is This Examination Performed?

Examination under anesthesia is performed in the operating room. You will be asleep with general anesthesia. A scope with attached camera is inserted through your mouth and into your throat, voice box, windpipe and esophagus.

How Will I Feel after the Procedure?

After general anesthesia, you may feel sleepy for a day. You will be able to eat and drink as you did before the procedure. You will receive medication for pain. You may have the following symptoms:

  • A sore throat lasting one to two days
  • Hoarse voice
  • Coughing or spitting up small amount of blood for one to three days

What are the Risks of Examination under Anesthesia?

A risk is a problem that you might have. Some risks include:

  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Bleeding that may recur where the tissue sample were taken
  • Damage to teeth
  • Swelling where tissue samples were taken may cause difficulty breathing
  • Damage to the back of the throat or esophagus (swallowing tube)

When Will I Receive My Results?

After the examination under anesthesia your doctor will be able to tell you what he or she saw and if biopsies were taken. Biopsy results will take at least a few days, sometimes longer. Your doctor will call you or schedule a follow-up visit to review the biopsy results.

When Should I Call My Doctor?

Call your doctor if you experience:

  • Severe bleeding or any bleeding longer than three days
  • Fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Inability to swallow
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing


Pynnonen, MA, Gillespie, MB, Rosenfeld RM, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline: Evaluation of the Neck Mass in Adult. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017; 157(2 Suppl):S1-S30.

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The information on is provided solely for educational purposes and does not represent medical advice, nor is it a substitute for seeking professional medical care.