Selective lateral laser thyroarytenoid myotomy for adductor spasmodic dysphonia

J Laryngol Otol. 2010 Aug;124(8):886-91. doi: 10.1017/S0022215110000253. Epub 2010 Apr 29.


Objective: Selective lateral laser thyroarytenoid myotomy is a conceptually sound, simple, minimally invasive, repeatable and predictable new surgical procedure for treating adductor spasmodic dysphonia. This paper aims to introduce and describe the surgical technique, and to present a clinical case series and its outcomes.

Study design: A prospective, clinical case series treated with selective lateral laser thyroarytenoid myotomy, with follow up of 2.5 years.

Method: Pre- and post-operative data were collected prospectively for patients undergoing selective lateral laser thyroarytenoid myotomy. These data included patient demographics, previous interventions for adductor spasmodic dysphonia, technical aspects of surgery and clinical outcome. Outcome data included clinical assessment, voice handicap index, need for further intervention, and patient satisfaction assessed by subjective improvement (detailed subjectively by the patients themselves and objectively using the Glasgow benefit inventory).

Results: Four patients (two men and two women; mean age 65 years; age range 41-80 years) were included. The mean duration of adductor spasmodic dysphonia was 11 years. All patients had previously been treated with botulinum toxin A. All patients reported improvement in voice quality, fluency, sustainability and elimination of voice breaks over 2.5 years' follow up. Clinical assessment revealed no alteration in mucosal wave, and complete relief of hyperadduction was observed on phonation. No patients required supplementary botulinum toxin treatment during follow up.

Conclusion: Selective lateral laser thyroarytenoid myotomy seems to represent a curative procedure for adductor spasmodic dysphonia, a chronic, debilitating condition. This procedure is conceptually simple, minimally invasive and repeatable. It also seems to offer a safe and lasting alternative to botulinum toxin therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dysphonia / etiology
  • Dysphonia / surgery*
  • Dystonic Disorders / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Muscles / physiopathology
  • Laryngeal Muscles / surgery*
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Lasers, Gas
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vocal Cords / physiopathology
  • Voice Quality