JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Vocal fold paralysis: role of bilateral transverse cordotomy.

OBJECTIVE: Although modern endoscopic laser techniques aim to avoid a permanent tracheostomy by augmenting the glottic aperture in cases of bilateral vocal fold palsy, loss of tissue from the posterior glottis risks compromising voice quality and swallowing function. The objective of this study was to describe our experience with bilateral transverse posterior cordotomy.

METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of functional outcomes in a series of consecutive patients undergoing a simple modification of the classical laser cordectomy procedure, which avoids tissue loss. The procedure was confined to the complete release of the vocal ligament from the arytenoid cartilage on both sides, while avoiding any significant loss of mucosa or cartilage.

RESULTS: Post-operative voice quality and quality of life were rated as good by most patients, which makes bilateral transverse cordotomy an attractive treatment option for bilateral vocal fold paralysis.

CONCLUSION: Bilateral transverse cordotomy is a reliable treatment option for patients with bilateral vocal fold paralysis, and aims to avoid the morbidity associated with a permanent tracheostomy.

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