Quality-of-life outcomes following laryngeal endoscopic surgery for non-neoplastic vocal fold lesions.Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2004 Aug; 113(8):597-601.AO
Preservation of the vocal fold cover during laryngeal surgery should optimize vocal outcomes for patients with benign glottal lesions. The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in the quality of life, perceptual voice evaluation, and acoustic and aerodynamic measures of patients before and after endoscopic laryngeal microsurgery for true vocal fold cysts, polyps, and scarring. Preoperative and postoperative Voice Handicap Index (VHI) scores, Short Form 36 scores, and perceptual, acoustic, and aerodynamic voice measures were obtained prospectively from 42 patients who underwent phonomicrosurgery from February 2000 through May 2003. The mean (+/-SD) preoperative VHI was 49.6 +/- 21. The mean postoperative VHI score at a minimum of 3 months after surgery decreased to 26.8 +/- 21 (p < .001). When divided by lesion type, VHI scores improved significantly after surgery for vocal fold polyps and cysts. Although patients with vocal fold scarring demonstrated improvement in VHI scores after surgery, statistical significance was not achieved. For the entire group, the Short Form 36 scores were not significantly different from US norms either before or after operation. The acoustic data showed statistically significant decreases in jitter (2.05% to 1.26%), shimmer (7.06% to 4.03%), and noise-to-harmonics ratio (0.18 to 0.13) after surgery (p < .05) in female patients. The upper pitch limit increased after surgery in women (495.3 Hz to 654.9 Hz, p < .001). These results indicate that the voice-related quality of life and some acoustic parameters improve significantly for patients who have undergone laryngeal microsurgery for vocal fold cysts and polyps. Vocal fold scarring remains a difficult clinical problem with less favorable outcomes following surgical treatment in this patient set.