Unilateral vocal fold palsy & dysphagia: A review.Auris Nasus Larynx. 2020 Apr 06 [Online ahead of print]AN
Unilateral vocal fold palsy (UVFP) is the commonest neurological laryngeal disorder. Much of the research have focused on its implication on voice, with limited data on its impact on swallowing. The aim of this paper is to examine the current evidence on the pathophysiology, impact and management of UVFP and swallowing.
A literature search was conducted on the PubMed, MedLine, and Embase databases based on the keywords "unilateral vocal cord palsy" and "dysphagia" for this narrative review.
Dysphagia is common in UVFP. A safe and effective swallow is more than just glottic competence but coordination of complex events within the aerodigestive tract's sensory and motor systems. It is an important secondary outcome which has short- and long-term impact on our patient's quality of life. It should be managed in a multi-disciplinary manner to optimise patient's outcome.
It is important to consider the disease, patient and surgical factors when deciding on the type and timing of management options. There is increasing evidence of benefits with early surgical interventions, challenging the traditional conservative management to rule out spontaneous recovery and compensation.