Laryngoplasty in standing horses

Vet Surg. 2015 Apr;44(3):341-7. doi: 10.1111/vsu.12307.


Objective: To describe the clinical experience with standing laryngoplasty in a series of horses mostly nonracing.

Study design: Case series.

Animals: Seventy-one client-owned horses.

Methods: Medical records (April 2008-February 2014) of horses treated by standing laryngoplasty for abnormal respiratory noise and or poor performance were reviewed. Horses were included if they had a diagnosis of idiopathic right or left recurrent laryngeal neuropathy confirmed by videoendoscopy. All horses underwent a unilateral laryngoplasty with a unilateral or bilateral ventriculectomy or ventriculocordectomy. Follow-up endoscopy was performed in all horses within 24 hours postoperative, in 24 horses at 2-weeks, and in 65 horses at 6 weeks. Late follow-up was obtained from the trainer, owner, or referring veterinarian by telephone.

Results: Laryngoplasty was performed under endoscopic guidance with the horses sedated, and the surgical site was desensitized with local anesthetic solution. Laryngoplasty was completed in all horses and was well tolerated. No hyperabduction was observed. Two horses developed incisional swelling that resolved with drainage only. Late follow-up reported satisfactory improvement in respiration in all but 3 horses.

Conclusions: Laryngoplasty performed with the horse standing avoids risks associated with general anesthesia and recovery and yields comparable results in nonracing horses, to laryngoplasty performed with the horse anesthetized. This technique reduces cost and allows accurate intraoperative adjustment of the degree of arytenoid abduction.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arytenoid Cartilage / surgery
  • Female
  • Horse Diseases / surgery*
  • Horses
  • Laryngoplasty / veterinary*
  • Larynx / surgery
  • Male
  • Posture
  • Respiratory Sounds / veterinary
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / surgery
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / veterinary*
  • Vocal Cords / surgery