To objectively assess the voice outcomes of patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis treated with medialization thyroplasty and arytenoid adduction suture.
Case series of patients who underwent medialization thyroplasty and arytenoid adduction suture. Preoperative and postoperative voice testing was performed and the data were compared by statistical analysis.
Tertiary referral teaching hospital in Sydney, Australia.
All patients had a unilateral vocal fold paralysis, with a large posterior glottic gap and vocal symptoms affecting their quality of life.
Thirteen patients with a diagnosis of a unilateral vocal fold paralysis with a large posterior glottic gap, vocal symptoms, and total denervation of the vocal fold underwent medialization thyroplasty and arytenoid adduction suture. The surgery was performed in a novel method under a general anesthetic using a laryngeal mask and with direct intraoperative endoscopic feedback. Preoperative and postoperative measures of voice performance were compared, including acoustic analysis (fundamental frequency, speech intensity against quiet and loud background noise, speech rate) and aerodynamic assessment (airflow, maximum phonation time).
Medialization thyroplasty with arytenoid adduction suture significantly improved aerodynamic assessment and phonation duration for both male and female subjects overall. There were 2 of 13 treatment failures. Median follow-up time was 6 months.
Preliminary results indicate that in selected patients with vocal fold paralysis, medialization thyroplasty with arytenoid adduction suture leads to significant improvements in objective voice measures. Longer follow-up data are required to further quantify the voice outcomes after this procedure.