Selective laryngeal adductor denervation-reinnervation: a new surgical treatment for adductor spasmodic dysphonia

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1999 Mar;108(3):227-31. doi: 10.1177/000348949910800302.


During the past decade, botulinum toxin (Botox) has emerged as the accepted treatment for adductor spasmodic dysphonia (ASD). This therapy, which produces bilateral weakness of the thyroarytenoid muscle, undoubtedly produces physiologic effects that are beneficial to patients with ASD. However, it also has important limitations, including the need for repeated injections, the unpredictable relationship between dosage and response, and the possibility of short-term swallowing and voice problems. In this study, we will report our preliminary experience with a new surgical treatment for ASD. In this new procedure, the adductor branch of the recurrent laryngeal nerve is selectively denervated bilaterally, and its distal nerve stumps are reinnervated with branches of the ansa cervicalis nerve. Each of the patients was followed for at least 12 months; the median follow-up is 36 months. The outcome of the operation in 21 consecutive patients is reported. Nineteen of the 21 patients were judged to have an overall severity of dysphonia that was "absent to mild" following the procedure. Only 1 patient underwent further treatment with Botox postoperatively. The implications of this new procedure for ASD are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Muscles / innervation*
  • Male
  • Muscle Denervation*
  • Nerve Transfer
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve / surgery*
  • Voice Disorders / surgery*
  • Voice Quality