Thyroplasty is the most commonly performed type of laryngeal framework surgery, and the surgical indications are gradually being expanded. Although many reports have described thyroplasty results and rates of success, no study has attempted to determine predictors of the need for revisions or other secondary surgical procedures.
Methods: Retrospective review of 118 primary thyroplasty procedures performed on 96 patients. Secondary surgical procedures were divided into planned second-stage procedures (all fat implantation due to scarring), touchup procedures (primarily fat or collagen injections to close localized glottic gaps), and thyroplasty revisions (for implant extrusion or slippage). Statistical analysis was performed via the chi-squared technique with p < 0.05 considered significant.
Results: 96 patients underwent thyroplasty, 58 for vocal fold paresis or paralysis and 38 for other indications. Thirty-two (33%) patients underwent secondary surgical procedures, including 4 planned second stage procedures, and 6 patients with progression of their underlying disease. Thirty-two secondary procedures were performed in the other 22 patients. Professional singers were found to be more likely to require touchup or planned second-stage procedures (p = 0.029). Patients with abnormal preoperative noise-toharmonic ratios were more likely to undergo secondary surgeries (p = 0.039). Maximum phonation time was not associated with need for secondary surgery. Implant material did not influence revision rates.
Conclusions: Professional singers and those patients with severe voice disorders (as measured by more abnormal noise-to-harmonic ratios) are more likely to undergo secondary surgical procedures. The choice of implant material does not affect need for secondary surgical procedures.