|de Almeida RBS, Costa CC, Lamounier e Silva Duarte P, Rocha AKPB, Bernardes MND, Garcia JL, Freitas LB, Ramos HVL
Introduction: Bilateral vocal fold paralysis is a condition accounting for great mortality and significant worsening in patients' quality of life. Treatment applied to these patients seek balance among breathing, airway protection and voice quality. Aim(s): Critically and systematically reviewing the current literature on the topic in order to set the best technique to restore breathing comfort, without the need of tracheostomy, in patients with bilateral vocal fold paralysis. Furthermore, it seeks the surgical type technique accounting for the best breathing rate and for the smallest changes in voice parameters. Material(s) and Method(s): Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses method methodology and population, interventions, comparatives, outcomes and study design criteria were used as systematic search in the biggest databases and in the grey literature. The following meshes were used for the search: surgical interventions, surgical treatment, bilateral vocal cord paralysis, bilateral vocal fold paralysis, tracheostomy, decannulation, voice, and dysphonia. The selected studies should have followed the randomized clinical-trial type or be longitudinal observational controlled prospective studies (cohort studies). Result(s): In total, 3,548 articles were found. After duplicate studies were removed from the selection, the inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied and 06 articles were selected for qualitative analysis. Conclusion(s): The assessed surgical procedures showed good cost-benefit to treat bilateral vocal fold paralysis, either because they improved the breathing function in most patients and allowed decannulation in patients with tracheostomy, or because they accounted for small changes to both voice parameters or deglutition. However, none of the described techniques has shown respiratory and functional outcomes better than those recorded for the other ones. The decision on what surgery to perform still must be made based on the judgement of an experienced surgeon.