Authors: Dewan K, Berke GS
Title: Bilateral Vocal Fold Medialization: A Treatment for Abductor Spasmodic Dysphonia
Source: Journal Of Voice 2019 33(1): 45-48
Year: 2019
Research Design: Case Series

Summary Introduction Abductor spasmodic dysphonia, a difficult-to-treat laryngologic condition, is characterized by spasms causing the vocal folds to remain abducted despite efforts to adduct them during phonation. Traditional treatment for abductor spasmodic dysphonia—botulinum toxin injection into the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle—can be both technically challenging and uncomfortable. Due to the difficulty of needle placement, it is often unsuccessful. The purpose of this investigation is to present a previously undescribed treatment for abductor spasmodic dysphonia—bilateral vocal fold medialization. Methods A retrospective case review of all cases of abductor spasmodic dysphonia treated in a tertiary care laryngology practice with bilateral vocal fold medialization over a 10-year period was performed. The Voice Handicap Index and the Voice-Related Quality of Life surveys were utilized to assess patient satisfaction with voice outcome. Results Six patients with abductor spasmodic dysphonia treated with bilateral vocal fold medialization were identified. Disease severity ranged from mild to severe. All six patients reported statistically significant improvement in nearly all Voice Handicap Index and Voice-Related Quality of Life parameters. They reported fewer voice breaks and greater ease of communication. Results were noted immediately and symptoms continue to be well controlled for many years following medialization. Conclusions Bilateral vocal fold medialization is a safe and effective treatment for abductor spasmodic dysphonia. It is performed under local anesthesia and provides phonation improvement in the short and long term.

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