To (1) describe a modification of conventional unilateral cricoarytenoid lateralization (UCAL), called less-invasive unilateral cricoarytenoid lateralization (LI-UCAL) for treatment of idiopathic laryngeal paralysis (LP); (2) report clinical outcome of LI-UCAL; and (3) describe the effect of early discharge after surgery.

Study Design

Retrospective clinical study.


Dogs (n = 22).


Medical records (January 2009 to October 2011) of dogs diagnosed with idiopathic LP that had LI-UCAL were reviewed. Signalment, clinical signs, laboratory tests, imaging, concurrent medical conditions, information from the anesthesia record, and hospitalization time were documented. Follow-up was obtained by direct examination, questionnaire, and review of medical records from referring veterinarians.


Dogs included in the study had variable degrees and duration of respiratory distress before surgery. Median surgery time was 32 minutes. Median hospitalization was 6 hours, and median follow-up was 427 days. Long-term respiratory function, as reported by owners at last follow-up, improved in 95.5% of dogs after surgery; exercise tolerance improved by 90%. Major complications included death secondary to aspiration pneumonia (9%), aspiration pneumonia from which dogs recovered within 3 days after administration of antimicrobials (9%), and development of right-sided laryngeal collapse that required right sided LI-UCAL (4.5%). At long-term follow-up, 95.5% of owners were satisfied with the surgical outcome.


LI-UCAL is a feasible surgical technique and resulted in improvement of clinical signs related to LP. Calm recoveries without adverse effects such as respiratory distress were associated with early discharge. LI-UCAL could be considered an alternative to conventional UCAL.