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Observational Study
. 2015 Jun;125(6):1401-8.
doi: 10.1002/lary.25137. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

Permanent Transoral Surgery of Bilateral Vocal Fold Paralysis: A Prospective Multi-Center Trial

Observational Study

Permanent Transoral Surgery of Bilateral Vocal Fold Paralysis: A Prospective Multi-Center Trial

Tadeus Nawka et al. Laryngoscope. .


Objectives/hypothesis: To describe postoperative adverse events (AEs) and outcomes after transoral surgery for bilateral vocal fold paralysis (BVFP).

Study design: Prospective observational multicenter study.

Methods: Thirty-six patients with BVFP underwent transoral surgery using standard surgical procedures to unilaterally widen the glottic area. Postoperative adverse events (AEs) including severe adverse events (SAEs) were registered continuously. Pre- and 6-month postoperative evaluations included the 6-Minute Walk Test, the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), the Glasgow Benefit Inventory, the 12-Item Voice Handicap Index (VHI-12), and a Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing graded according to the Penetration-Aspiration-Scale.

Results: The patients underwent posterior cordotomy, partial arytenoidectomy, or permanent laterofixation as single procedures or in combination. Forty-seven percent of the patients had postoperative AEs. Dyspnea was the most frequent AE (45%). In 40% of AEs, the events were severe (SAEs), and 72.5% were related to the study intervention. Revision surgery leading to prolonged hospitalization or rehospitalization was necessary in nine cases (25%). Laterofixation was correlated to a decreased risk of AEs (P = 0.042). Six months after surgery, a significant improvement was seen in the SF-domains: Physical component score (P = 0.008), physical functioning (P = 0.001), physical role (P = 0.031), and vitality (P = 0.032). Concerning the voice handicap, only the VHI-12 physical subscore showed a decrease (P = 0.005). The total score and other VHI-12 subscores did not change significantly (all P > 0.05).

Conclusion: BCVP patients profit from modern transoral surgery for unilateral glottic widening; quality of life is improved; and the voice is preserved. Nevertheless, postoperative complications are frequent.

Level of evidence: 2b.

Keywords: Bilateral vocal fold paralysis; prospective study; transoral approach; treatment outcome.

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