What is a panendoscopy?

A panendoscopy is the examination of the upper aerodigestive tract (pharynx, larynx, upper trachea and oesophagus). It may also involve the removal or biopsy of any abnormal tissue found.

Anaesthetic

This procedure will require an anaesthetic.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are risks and complications with this procedure. They include but are not limited to the following:

General risks:

  • Infection can occur, requiring antibiotics and further treatment.
  • Bleeding could occur and may require a return to the operating room. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Asprin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin).
  • Small areas of the lung can collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Increased risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.
  • Heart attack or stroke could occur due to the strain on the heart.
  • Blood clot in the leg (DVT) causing pain and swelling. In rare cases, part of the clot may break off and go to the lungs.
  • Death as a result of this procedure is possible.

Specific risks:

  • Injury to the lips, teeth, gums or tongue. Dental injury may result in teeth being chipped, broken or dislodged.
  • Swelling of the tissues of the airway. This may lead to difficulty breathing requiring the insertion of a breathing tube through the mouth and support with breathing until the swelling resolves. Rarely, a tracheostomy (insertion of a breathing tube through the neck) may be required depending on the underlying pathology.
  • Bleeding into the airway. This may lead to difficulty breathing requiring the insertion of a breathing tube through the mouth, until the bleeding is controlled. Rarely, a tracheostomy (insertion of a breathing tube through the neck) may be required.
  • Voice change. The larynx (voice box) or the nerves controlling the larynx may be injured by the instruments used for the panendoscopy. Voice change may also result from excision or biopsy of any abnormal tissue in the larynx. The voice change may be persistent and not respond to further treatment.
  • Perforation or rupture of the oesophagus (food pipe). This may lead to a serious infection in the neck or chest which is life threatening. Surgery involving the neck and/or chest is usually required to repair the perforation and treat the infection and a prolonged stay in hospital will be required. This infection, or the surgery required to treat the perforation, may cause injury to the larynx (voice box) or the nerves controlling the larynx resulting in an abnormal voice.
  • Persistence or recurrence of the original disease may occur.
  • The presence of free air or gas in the pleural cavity.
  • Undiagnosed neck or spinal problems.