Objectives: Polyacrylamide hydrogel (PAAG, Aquamid) is widely used as permanent facial tissue filler during facial plastic surgery. In this study, we examined the long-term effects and safety aspects of PAAG as a vocal fold augmentation material for patients with permanent unilateral vocal cord paralysis.
Study design: Prospective clinical trials.
Methods: PAAG injection laryngoplasty was performed in 34 consecutive patients with permanent unilateral vocal cord paralysis. Percutaneous injection was performed under local anesthesia into the vocalis muscle using disposable 25 gauge long needles. Of the 34 patients, 16 completed acoustic, perceptual, stroboscopic, and subjective evaluations prior to the injection and at 6 and 12 months after the injection.
Results: Acoustic and perceptual parameters (GRBAS [Overall grade of dysphonia, Roughness, Breathiness, Aesthenia, Strain], Maximal phonation time [MPT], jitter, and shimmer) were significantly improved (P < .05) after injection and remained stable over 12 months. The grades of mucosal waves and glottic closure were also significantly improved (P < .01). The voice handicap index (VHI), as well as the visual analogue scale (VAS) of hoarseness and aspiration significantly improved over 12 months. No adverse effects were observed except for a decrease in the mucosal wave of one patient, after injection into a superficial area of the vocal fold.
Conclusion: Based on the preliminary results of this trial, PAAG appears to be a long-lasting and safe injection material that is suitable for the treatment of glottal insufficiency caused by permanent unilateral vocal cord paralysis.