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Keywords:

  • Arytenoid adduction;
  • endoscopic surgery;
  • vocal fold paralysis;
  • Level of Evidence: 2c.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

Arytenoid adduction (AA) is the most effective procedure for improving voice function in patients affected by unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP), but it is often associated with severe complications following airway obstruction. The aim of this study is to describe a new and less invasive AA surgical procedure termed endoscopic-assisted AA surgery (EAAS) and to evaluate its voice outcomes.

Study Design:

We demonstrated this method using extirpated larynges from three laryngeal cancer patients. Ten patients with severe UVFP underwent EAAS alone or combined with type I thyroplasty or lipoinjection laryngoplasty.

Methods:

EAAS involves the placement of permanent adducting sutures around the muscular process (MP) of the arytenoid cartilage using two needles, a penetration needle and a loop needle, under endoscopic guidance. To define the anatomic position of the MP for safer needle insertion, the location of the MP was measured relative to three landmarks on computed tomography/X-ray images of the larynges and in resected larynges. For all patients with UVFP, the maximum phonation time, mean airflow rate, and three acoustic analysis parameters were measured before and after EAAS.

Results:

The values of the three variables were similar in all cases. Most patients achieved a maximum phonation time of more than 10 seconds and a mean airflow rate of less than 200 mL/second. All three acoustic analysis parameters were significantly improved after surgery.

Conclusions:

EAAS is a simple and effective arytenoid rotation procedure.