Injection laryngoplasty for management of unilateral vocal fold paralysis

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Purpose of review

The purpose of this review is to provide an up-to-date review of injection laryngoplasty technique and currently available injectable materials in the management of unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVP).

Recent findings

Many new materials are currently available as substances for injection laryngoplasty. These materials have been developed along distinct of lines reasoning that address the inherent shortcomings of the previously available injectable substances, namely, poor tissue biocompatibility and poor persistence within the larynx. Accordingly, the past decade has seen heightened efforts toward developing implants with improved biocompatibility and longevity. The past year has witnessed publications reporting animal studies and, on occasion, human clinical trials involving the intralaryngeal injection of calcium hydroxyl-appetite, autologous fascia, particulate silicone and hyaluronic acid derivatives, and others, for managing glottic insufficiency.


In recent years, the application of injection laryngoplasty to unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVP) has regained popularity. The technique of injection laryngoplasty has several appealing qualities including relative technical ease, low cost, and wide availability in many clinical settings. A growing number of injectable substances have been developed and tested in the clinical setting of glottic insufficiency. When used to manage unilateral vocal fold paralysis, however, injection laryngoplasty has one irrefutable shortcoming: an inability to address posterior glottic insufficiency. Therefore, while injection laryngoplasty technique becomes increasingly popular for vocal fold augmentation in cases vocal fold paresis, atrophy, and scarring, its role in the treatment of UVP should be limited to cases with an appropriate glottal defect. These techniques should be considered as part of a complimentary armamentarium with framework surgery.

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