KTP Laser Treatment for Voice and Swallow Disorders (The James)

KTP Laser Treatment for Voice and Swallow Disorders (The James)


What is KTP Laser Treatment?

A KTP (potassium-titanyl-phosphate) laser is used to treat many voice and swallowing disorders. This laser procedure can be done in your doctor’s office and has little to no recovery time. The treatment is done while you are awake, without general anesthesia. Before the procedure starts, your doctor will use medicine to numb your nose and throat before the scope is put into your nose.


What do I need to know before my treatment?

  • If your doctor orders a medicine for you to take before your procedure to help you relax, such as Valium, you need to have someone drive you to and from your appointment.
  • Do not eat a large meal 3 hours before your appointment.


How is the KTP treatment done?

  • Two medicines, Afrin and Lidocaine, will be sprayed into your nostrils to numb the area before the scope is put into your nose.
  • When your nostrils are numb, the scope will be put into your nose and down into your throat. Your doctor will numb your larynx (voice box) by dripping Lidocaine onto your vocal cords. This can cause you to cough and sputter. It will take about 3 minutes to numb this area.
  • After your larynx area is numb, the KTP laser procedure will be done through the scope in your nose.
  • This procedure should not be painful, but you may have some mild discomfort.


What will I need to know after my treatment?

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 1 to 2 hours after this treatment. This gives the numbing medicine time to wear off, so you can swallow safely.
  • Due to swelling, your voice may come and go and may not be as clear for a couple of weeks after your procedure.
  • Do not whisper. Whispering it is harder on your vocal cords than speaking.
  • Do not clear your throat or cough unless needed.
  • You may have a mild sore throat after your procedure. Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed on the bottle. If this does not help your pain, take ibuprofen (Advil) as directed on the bottle.
  • Follow your doctor’s orders on how to limit the use of your voice.


When should I call the doctor?

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Coughing up blood
  • Breathing problems
  • Trouble swallowing



© February 28, 2022. The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

This handout is for informational purposes only. Talk with your doctor or health care team if you have any questions about your care.