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Clinical Note |

An Unusual Complication of Vocal Fold Lipoinjection:  Case Report and Review of the Literature

VyVy N. Young, MD; Rohan C. Wijewickrama, MD; Michael A. Pizzuto, MD; Clark A. Rosen, MD
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;138(4):418-420. doi:10.1001/archoto.2012.46.
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Vocal fold injection is used for the management of glottal incompetence from various causes.1,2 The procedure is well tolerated and has few reported complications.25 The only previously reported case of infection following vocal fold injection was an intralaryngeal abscess from micronized cadaveric collagen (Cymetra Micronized Alloderm, LifeCell Corp).6 We present a case of a 14-year-old healthy girl with lifelong hoarseness secondary to vocal fold paralysis after patent ductus arteriosus ligation as an infant, who underwent an uneventful bilateral vocal fold injection with autologous fat and presented 3 weeks later with a superficial neck abscess requiring incision and drainage. She has recovered well and has experienced no adverse effect on her voice. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of a neck abscess following lipoinjection. Literature describing complications of this procedure was also reviewed.

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Figure 1. Midline anterior neck swelling and erythema.

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Figure 2. Axial computed tomography. A, Image at the level of the false vocal folds. Note the lack of intralaryngeal involvement by the abscess. B, Image at the level of the glottis. Note the thickening of the subcutaneous tissues without intralaryngeal involvement by the abscess. C, Image of superficial anterior neck abscess. Note the distinctly visible border of the abscess as well as its extralaryngeal location.

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