To evaluate short- and long-term vocal outcomes after medialization laryngoplasty (ML) using a silastic implant in patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP).
Prospective study of consecutive patients undergoing ML with silastic (MLS) diagnosed with UVFP from 2009 till 2012 and with at least 9 months follow-up. Pre- and post-treatment maximum phonation time (MPT) and voice handicap index (VHI) scores were compared to assess the impact of ML on these outcomes. Patients with high vagal lesions or lateralized vocal folds (very low MPT) were compared with the entire group and the literature.
A total of 124 patients with UVFP underwent MLS. Forty-six patients were excluded as they either had a Gore-Tex implant (eight), short follow-up (20), or the primary case was a revision (18). Seventy-eight patients were included. Pretreatment mean VHI (total score) was 67 for the entire cohort. Postoperative VHI score was significantly lower both in short-term (3-8 weeks) follow-up, mean score 27 (paired t-test, P < 0.05) and in long-term follow-up (9-12 months), mean score 22 (P < 0.05). MPT was significantly improved from 8.3 pretreatment to 22.6 at short-term follow-up (P < 0.05) and to 24.2 long-term follow-up (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences between entire cohort and patients with a lateralized vocal fold or high vagal lesion. Comparable results were present when compared with the literature using similar metrics in patients undergoing an arytenoid procedure with/without medialization.
MLS alone is effective in managing UVFP in most patients.