Improved swallow outcomes after injection laryngoplasty in unilateral vocal fold immobility

Steven Zuniga, Barbara Ebersole, Nausheen Jamal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


While the impact of injection laryngoplasty on voice outcomes in unilateral vocal fold immobility has been well characterized, there is a relative paucity of literature investigating its influence on swallow function and outcomes. We performed a retrospective chart review of patients presenting to an academic cancer center between January 2014 and January 2016 to evaluate the clinical impact of percutaneous injection laryngoplasty on reduction of aspiration risk, patient perception of swallowing, and recommended safe diet in patients with vocal fold immobility after head and neck and thoracic surgery. A consecutive sample of patients diagnosed with unilateral vocal fold immobility with patient- or clinician-identified abnormal swallow function who underwent bedside or in-office vocal fold injection was included in the study. Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, Eating Assessment Tool-10 scores, Functional Oral Intake Scale scores, and patient perceptual assessment of swallow were evaluated pre- and postinjection. Twenty-one patients with new-onset unilateral vocal fold immobility who underwent injection laryngoplasty were evaluated. Median Eating Assessment Tool-10 and Functional Oral Intake Scale scores postinjection were significantly improved from preinjection. Patients who initially required restricted oral diets, or were nil per os, were able to advance their diet after injection laryngoplasty. Injection laryngoplasty is a safe and effective intervention for improvement of dysphagia in patients with unilateral vocal fold immobility. A single treatment may markedly reduce or eliminate risk of aspiration and potential sequelae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-256
Number of pages7
JournalEar, Nose and Throat Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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