Medialization Laryngoplasty in the Elderly: Outcomes and Expectations

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To describe the profile and outcomes of elderly patients undergoing medialization laryngoplasty for vocal cord paralysis.

Study Design

Case series with retrospective review.


Tertiary care hospital.

Subjects and Methods

Patients were included in the study if they were >65 years old at the time of medialization laryngoplasty between 2008 and 2015. Patient comorbidities, anticoagulation status, disease etiology, and physical examination findings were recorded with postoperative length of stay, complications, pre- and posttreatment voice outcomes with the Voice Handicap Index (at 6 weeks, 4 months, 8 months, and 1 year), and postprocedural interventions (revision injections, surgery, therapy).


A total of 112 patients met the eligibility criteria. Iatrogenic injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve (50%) was the most common etiology, followed by idiopathic (31%) causes. Sixty percent of patients were receiving long-term antiplatelet and/or anticoagulation therapy. All but 14 patients on aspirin therapy stopped their antiplatelet/anticoagulation therapy prior to surgery. Most patients were discharged on the day of surgery. Postprocedure Voice Handicap Index scores significantly improved (P < .001) by 47%, 53%, 64%, and 57% at each of the 4 measured postprocedure dates, respectively. Two patients had major nonsurgical complications postoperatively requiring inpatient hospitalization. Chi-square analysis revealed no differences between intraoperative aspirin use, sex, or comorbidities and the incidence of complications (P > .05).


The clinical profile and outcomes of our patients undergoing medialization laryngoplasty are comparable to those seen in younger cohorts. Medialization laryngoplasty is a safe and successful option for elderly patients with vocal cord paralysis and vocal handicap.

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