To describe the pattern of laryngeal recovery and its relationship to voice improvement following thyroplasty.
We used a 5-point scale to rate 5 laryngeal characteristics preoperatively and 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months following thyroplasty.
A university-affiliated health center.
Forty-four patients who underwent thyroplasty to correct incomplete glottal closure.
Improved glottal closure and reduced supraglottic activity followed thyroplasty. Although evidence of postoperative irritation (erythema, edema, or hematoma) was present in many patients, it resolved within the first 1 to 4 weeks postoperatively in 22 (73%) of the 30 subjects available for follow-up at 3 months following thyroplasty.
Thyroplasty is an effective procedure in correcting incomplete glottal closure and works to reduce excessive supraglottic activity in some patients. Recovery from postoperative vocal-fold irritation occurs rapidly, typically between the first week to first month, depending on the type and severity of irritation. These findings may help explain variations in postoperative voice improvement.