To describe a new technique of nerve-muscle pedicle (NMP) flap implantation combined with arytenoid adduction (AA) to treat dysphonia due to unilateral vocal fold paralysis and to examine postoperative vocal function.
Retrospective review of clinical records.
Tertiary academic center.
Twenty-two consecutive patients underwent NMP flap implantation with AA and were followed up short term over a period of 1 to 6 months (mean, 2.9 months) and long term over a period of 7 to 36 months (mean, 21.4 months).
An NMP flap was made using an ansa cervicalis branch and a piece of the sternohyoid muscle. A window was opened in the thyroid ala at the level of the vocal fold. Then, AA was performed and the NMP flap was securely implanted onto the thyroarytenoid muscle through the window under microscopic guidance.
Main Outcome Measures
The maximum phonation time, mean airflow rate, pitch range, and acoustic parameters (jitter, shimmer, and harmonics to noise ratio) were evaluated before surgery and twice after surgery.
All parameters improved significantly after surgery (P < .01). The measurements for maximum phonation time, mean airflow rate, and harmonics to noise ratio were within normal ranges after surgery. Furthermore, the maximum phonation time and jitter were significantly improved after long-term follow-up compared with early postoperative measurements (P < .01 and P < .05, respectively).
Precise harvest of an NMP flap and its placement directly onto the thyroarytenoid muscle combined with AA provided excellent vocal function. The NMP method may have played a certain role in the improvement of postoperative vocal function, although further study with electromyographic examination is required to clarify the innervation status of the thyroarytenoid muscle.