Anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy in awake transcervical injection laryngoplasty

Laryngoscope. 2017 Aug;127(8):1850-1854. doi: 10.1002/lary.26508. Epub 2017 Mar 8.


Objective: Vocal fold movement impairment (VFMI) due to neuronal injury occurs in 20% to 30% of surgeries in the region of the aortic arch. Early injection laryngoplasty can aid with postoperative pulmonary toilet in these high-risk cardiovascular patients. The purpose of this study is to determine whether continuing antiplatelet and anticoagulation therapy during awake transcervical injection laryngoplasty surgery is safe, and if there is any increase in bleeding complications in these patients.

Methods: This is a retrospective review of patients undergoing awake injection laryngoplasty surgery for VFMI between 2013 and 2016 at a tertiary academic center specializing in aortic and mediastinal diseases. Records were reviewed for patients regarding baseline antiplatelet or anticoagulation therapy, and whether these medications were stopped or continued preoperatively. The primary outcome was bleeding complications.

Results: Of the 95 surgeries reviewed, 44 (46%) were performed for patients on antiplatelet therapy, and 71 (75%) for patients on anticoagulation therapy. None of the patients on antiplatelet therapy had their treatment discontinued. Of the patients on anticoagulation, 13 (16.4%) had their therapy held prior to surgery. There was no observed difference in bleeding complications between patients who were continued on antiplatelet or anticoagulation treatment versus those whose therapy was withheld.

Conclusion: These results suggest that patients undergoing awake transcervical injection laryngoplasty for VFMI can be maintained on antiplatelet or anticoagulation therapy without increased risk of bleeding. Further larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Level of evidence: 4. Laryngoscope, 127:1850-1854, 2017.

Keywords: Antiplatelet; anticoagulation; antithrombotic; injection medialization; vocal fold immobility.

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Intraoperative Care*
  • Laryngoplasty / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / surgery*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium