Authors: Mallur PS, Gartner-Schmidt J, Rosen CA
Title: Voice outcomes following the gray minithyrotomy
Source: Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 2012 121(7): 490-496
Year: 2012
Research Design: Case Series

Objectives: Most practitioners have limited treatment options for vocal fold scar and sulcus vocalis. The Gray minithyrotomy (GMT) is a surgical procedure for the treatment of these conditions, although limited objective data exist regarding voice outcomes. This study compares the quantified subjective and visual perceptual outcomes following GMT for the treatment of vocal fold scar and sulcus vocalis. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients who underwent GMT in a single institution. Patient-reported satisfaction, Voice Handicap Index–10 scores, results of video perceptual analysis, and complications were recorded. Results: Sixteen patients underwent GMT for phonotraumatic or postoperative scar (11), radiation-induced scar (3), or sulcus vocalis (2). Seven underwent bilateral operations. Follow-up data were available for 12 patients. Eight patients had 2 or more failed surgical interventions before GMT. Seven of the 13 procedures resulted in a self-reported improvement. Although the mean preoperative Voice Handicap Index–10 score (30.6) across all patients did not decrease after the operation, 6 of the 13 GMT procedures resulted in improvement (mean decrease, 7.5). Complications, encountered in 5 patients, included ecchymosis, neck abscess, tongue numbness, wound dehiscence, and aspiration pneumonia. Conclusions: The GMT is a viable treatment for severe vocal fold scar and sulcus vocalis. Our results show improvement in half of a cohort that was marked by previous failures at improving voice. These results point to the recalcitrant nature of voice difficulties in treating vocal fold scar and sulcus, and may properly guide clinicians and patients in their expectations following this infrequently used technique.

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