What is airway evaluation?
Airway evaluations are conducted in patients who are experiencing problems with their airways. The assessment helps to identity what the cause of the difficulty may be, and attempts to find ways to manage the issues. An airway evaluation is often conducted before a surgery is performed.
What does an airway evaluation involve?
An airway evaluation begins with a careful history and examination. The examination will include evaluation of the airway with a flexible nasendocope (a specialised camera with a flexible tip inserted through the nose to evaluate the nose, back of the nose, and upper airway up to the vocal cords). Depending on the clinical findings a chest X-ray, CT scan or rigid endoscopy may be recommended. Rigid endoscopy is another method of evaluating the airway should the flexible endoscopy not provide enough information for accurate diagnosis. This is a surgical procedure which requires a short general anaesthetic during which the entire airway can be evaluated up to the bottom of the windpipe (below the vocal cords)