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, 32 (3), 347-351

Impact of Perioperative Voice Therapy on Outcomes in the Surgical Management of Vocal Fold Cysts

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Impact of Perioperative Voice Therapy on Outcomes in the Surgical Management of Vocal Fold Cysts

Kathleen M Tibbetts et al. J Voice.

Abstract

Introduction: Vocal fold cysts are benign mid-membranous lesions of the true vocal fold, classified as mucus retention or epidermal inclusion cysts. Treatment is surgical excision with or without postoperative voice therapy.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed of the demographics, treatment approach, and outcomes of patients treated for vocal fold cysts between 2009 and 2014. Voice Handicap Index (VHI)-10 scores before and after treatment were compared using the Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test and the two-tailed Student's t test. Videostroboscopy examinations were reviewed for posttreatment changes in vibratory characteristics of the vocal folds.

Results: Twenty-five patients were identified, and one was excluded for incomplete records. Mean age was 41.9 years (66.7% female), and mean follow-up time was 5.58 months. Microflap excision was pursued by 21/24 (87.5%) patients, with 14 patients (58.3%) undergoing perioperative voice therapy. One cyst recurred. Two patients elected for observation, and their cysts persisted. VHI-10 decreased from 23.8 to 6.6 (P < 0.001) overall. There was a statistically significant reduction in VHI-10 in patients undergoing surgery with and without postoperative voice therapy (P < 0.004 and 0.001), but there was no significant difference between these two groups. Mucosal wave was classified as normal or improved in the majority. Cysts were characterized as mucus retention cysts in 19/21 (90%) and as epidermal inclusion cysts in 2/21 (10%).

Conclusions: Vocal fold cysts impact mucosal wave and glottic closure. Surgical excision resulted in low rates of recurrence, and in improvement in the mucosal wave and VHI-10. Perioperative voice therapy did not offer a significant benefit. Mucus retention cysts were the majority, in contrast to other published studies.

Keywords: Benign vocal fold lesion; Dysphonia; Videostroboscopy; Vocal fold cyst; Voice therapy.

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