Endoscopic total arytenoidectomy for bilateral abductor vocal fold paralysis: A new flap technique and personal experience with 50 cases

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Yilmaz T.

LARYNGOSCOPE, vol.122, no.10, pp.2219-2226, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 122 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/lary.23467
  • Journal Name: LARYNGOSCOPE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2219-2226
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives/Hypothesis: Bilateral vocal fold paralysis is a very serious complication of thyroid surgery, with resulting airway obstruction, aspiration, swallowing disturbance, and voice change. When treated with endoscopic total arytenoidectomy, airway obstruction may be relieved; however, there are concerns that voice may be seriously and irreversibly damaged and aspiration may become a permanent problem. Study Design: Prospective, cohort study. Methods: Fifty patients with bilateral vocal fold paralysis underwent endoscopic total arytenoidectomy, medially based mucosal advancement flap, and vocal fold lateralization with endoscopic microsuture. Pre- and postoperative evaluations included Voice Handicap Index (VHI-30), aerodynamic and acoustic analysis, subjective comparison of pre- and postoperative voice by phoniatrician, speech intensity measurement, breathing ability evaluation, and functional outcome swallowing scale. Results: All VHI-30 results, all aerodynamic analysis results, and all acoustic results (except F0) worsened significantly after surgery (P < .05). Subjective comparison of pre- and postoperative voice by phoniatrician revealed somewhat worse voice (94%). Mean speech intensity decreased from 65 dB to 60 dB postoperatively (P < .05). Postoperative breathing ability was significantly better (90%). The pre- and postoperative functional outcome swallowing scales were not significantly different (P > .05). Conclusions: Endoscopic total arytenoidectomy is still a very successful static surgical option for bilateral vocal fold paralysis. It is performed without a tracheotomy, but may be required in some patients postoperatively. Laser is not a requirement for it, and it can easily be done with cold instruments. It attains comfortable airway with acceptable voice. Postoperatively, it does not increase aspiration significantly. It has good long-term results. Laryngoscope, 2012