Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Section for Spasmodic Dysphonia

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Abstract

Spasmodic dysphonia is a severe disorder of phonation accompanied by extreme tension of the entire phonatory system. The expressive functions of speech such as laughter, singing, and whispering are much less affected if at all. Psychotherapy, speech therapy, stimulant and psychotropic drugs, hypnotism and acupuncture have all been tried as treatment without success. In 1976, Dedo reported 34 patients who were managed with recurrent laryngeal nerve section for spasmodic dysphonia. All of these patients had marked improvement in voice with relief of spasticity. Twenty-two patients with documented spasmodic dysphonia present for at least one year have been managed at the Cleveland Clinic since Dedo's report. None of them had any improvement with conventional voice therapy and were subjected, therefore, to recurrent laryngeal nerve section.

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