Authors: Wolter NE, Ayele N, Kawai K, Hseu A, Nuss R
Title: Medialization Laryngoplasty in Pediatric Patients With Unilateral Vocal Fold Immobility: A Case Series
Source: Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 2019 128(2): 145-151
Year: 2019
Research Design: Case Series

OBJECTIVES:: The aims of this study were to describe the impact of laryngoplasty in pediatric unilateral vocal fold immobility (UVFI) and to determine the impact of etiology and technique on voice and swallowing. METHODS:: A retrospective review was conducted of all children with UVFI undergoing medialization laryngoplasty at a pediatric hospital (2010-2017). Data including demographics, etiology, subjective voice quality, and swallowing function were collected. RESULTS:: The median age at first surgery among 25 patients with UVFI was 11 years (range, 1.2-25 years). The causes of UVFI were iatrogenic (76%), congenital (16%), and idiopathic (8%). A total of 38 laryngoplasties (24 injections, 11 Silastic implants, 3 Gore-Tex) were performed. Postoperatively, 78% of patients reported improvements in voice and 81% in swallowing. The median duration of voice improvement was 1.0 years (range, 0.1-10 years), with no significant difference by etiology or laryngoplasty technique. Patients who were 10 years of age at surgery reported voice improvement significantly more often than patients <10 years of age at surgery (94% vs 61%, P = .04). CONCLUSIONS:: UVFI has a significant impact on health and quality of life. In this study we found that laryngoplasty is an effective way to address both voice and swallowing in pediatric UVFI. A greater proportion of children with improved voice quality were older at injection. Surprisingly, there was no difference in duration of voice improvement between permanent and absorbable materials. Although this duration would be considered acceptable for many injectable materials, the limited duration in permanent implantation techniques may represent the challenges of managing UVFI in the growing larynx of the pediatric population. Injection laryngoplasty with absorbable materials may serve as an adequate method of addressing UVFI in this population.

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