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Nasopharyngoscopy is an examination of the nasopharynx by means of an endoscope, either rigid or flexible.  It is usually the same rigid telescope or flexible scope used for nasal endoscopy or flexible laryngoscopy in other clinical situations.

Where is The Nasopharynx?

The nasopharynx is the part of the throat directly behind the nose as indicated in the diagram below.


What’s In The Nasopharynx?

When you are young, your nasopharynx contains your adenoids.  They can contribute to ear disease in children and, If enlarged, can interfere with breathing through the nose.  By adolescence your adenoids have begun to disappear and by high school they’re usually gone for the most part.

The nasopharynx contains the opening of the Eustachian tube, the tube that allows the ear to breathe.  If your Eustachian tube doesn’t work properly ear disease can result and airline travel can be quite painful.

Why Does the Nasopharynx Need To Be examined?

Pain, bleeding, nasal obstruction or loss of function of the Eustachian tube can signal a possible disease process or presence of a tumor of the nasopharynx.  Thorough examination while awake can be accomplished by Nasopharyngoscopy.  Biopsy of tissue from the nasopharynx, however, sometimes is best performed under anesthesia in an operating room.