Reversibility of medialization laryngoplasty. An experimental study

Randal C. Paniello, J. David Dahm

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Medialization laryngoplasty has become a routine procedure for eases of unilateral vocal fold paralysis. In certain clinical situations, it may become desirable to reverse the procedure and remove the implant. This process was studied experiment ally in eight dogs in a chronic model of induced canine phonation. A silicone polymer implant was inserted to medialize one normal vocal fold for a period of 1 month, after which it was removed. Motion of the cricoarytenoid (CA) joint and induced phonation were studied weekly while the implant was in place, and for another month following implant removal. Significant abnormalities were found even with this relatively short period of implantation. With the implant in place, impairment of CA joint mobility was found in seven of the eight dogs, precluding phonation. A dense fibrous capsule rapidly developed around the implant, making its removal technically difficult. Following implant removal, a gradual rerum to normal function was found in only three of the eight dogs. One of the animals had evidence of neural injury, while four had intact neural function but impaired mobility or fixation of the CA joint. Medialization laryngoplasty should not be considered a reversible procedure. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-908
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1997


  • Cricoarytenoid joint
  • Medialization laryngoplasty
  • Unilateral vocal fold paralysis


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