Nasopharygolaryngoscopy (NPL)

Patient Leaflets Team

  • Reference Number: HEY-590/2018
  • Departments: ENT
  • Last Updated: 31 August 2018


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about your procedure. Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion. If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

What is an NPL?

You may require an NPL for nasal, throat or voice problems. The NPL is a narrow scope with special fibre optic lense so the doctor can view your nasal cavity, throat and voice box to check for any problems.
A local anaesthetic spray is often used to make it as comfortable as possible. You must not drink for 20 – 30 minutes after spraying to avoid choking.

Can there be any complications or risks?

The procedure may be a little uncomfortable as the scope is passed through the nose and down the back of the throat to the voice box.
Some patients may feel like retching as the scope nears the voice box, but if you listen to the doctor’s instructions just to breathe normally, then this usually helps.
No drinking for 20 – 30 minutes after anaesthetic spray to the nose and throat

What happens afterwards?

  •  If a local anaesthetic spray is used it will take 20 – 30 minutes for the effects to wear off.
  •  Results will be told to you immediately by the doctor.
  •  Any advice required will be given to you by your doctor at the time of the consultation.
  • Follow-up treatment if required will be discussed with you by your doctor.
  •  Any follow up appointments should be made before you leave the department.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this
leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the ENT Outpatients Department telephone no: (01482) 624703

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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