Bedside Injection Medialization Laryngoplasty in Immediate Postoperative Patients

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015 Dec;153(6):1007-12. doi: 10.1177/0194599815601393. Epub 2015 Aug 25.


Objectives: The morbidity of glottic insufficiency resulting from unilateral vocal fold immobility may significantly compromise postoperative recovery in patients with decreased pulmonary reserve or inability to protect their airway. Injection medialization laryngoplasty is an effective means of treating glottic insufficiency due to unilateral vocal fold immobility. The purpose of this study is to present our experience with bedside transoral injection medialization laryngoplasty in the immediate postoperative period.

Study design: Case series with chart review.

Setting: Academic tertiary care hospital.

Subjects and methods: Patient demographics, clinical characteristics, procedural details, and short-term outcome measures of oral intake were recorded in a cohort of 68 patients over 5 years with unilateral vocal cord paralysis who underwent injection medialization as a bedside procedure in the immediate postoperative period.

Results: Mean time to injection was 8.2 days postoperatively. At the time of injection, 40 of 68 patients were nil per os. Seventy percent (28 of 40) had their diet advanced to adequate oral intake within 5 days of injection. Greater than half of the injections (36 of 68) were performed in the intensive care unit. No complications were noted, and all patients in this cohort were able to tolerate the bedside injection.

Conclusion: Bedside injection medialization laryngoplasty in the immediate postoperative period via the transoral approach can be performed in patients, even in the intensive care unit, while on anticoagulation, and may be of benefit for hospitalized patients with unilateral vocal fold immobility. Further studies quantifying improvement in voice and swallowing data are merited.

Keywords: injection medialization; larynx/surgery; vocal fold paralysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Eating
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngoplasty / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / surgery