Laryngeal Force Sensor: Quantifying Extralaryngeal Complications after Suspension Microlaryngoscopy

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Abstract

Objectives

To develop a novel sensor capable of dynamically analyzing the force exerted during suspension microlaryngoscopy and to examine the relationship between force and postoperative tongue complications.

Study Design

Prospective observational study.

Setting

Academic tertiary care center.

Methods

The laryngeal force sensor is a designed for use during microphonosurgery. Prospectively enrolled patients completed pre- and postoperative surveys to assess the development of tongue-related symptoms (dysgeusia, pain, paresthesia, and paresis) or dysphagia (10-item Eating Assessment Tool [EAT-10]). To prevent operator bias, surgeons were blinded to the force recordings during surgery.

Results

Fifty-six patients completed the study. Of these, 20 (36%) developed postoperative tongue symptoms, and 12 (21%) had abnormal EAT-10 scores. The mean maximum force across all procedures was 164.7 N (95% CI, 141.0-188.4; range, 48.5-402.6), while the mean suspension time was 34.3 minutes (95% CI, 27.4-41.2; range, 7.1-108.1). Multiple logistic regression showed maximum force (odds ratio, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.02-1.29; P = .019) and female sex (30.1%; 95% CI, 22.7%-37.5%; P < .001) as significant predictors for the development of tongue-related symptoms. The only significant predictor of an abnormal postoperative EAT-10 score was an increased maximum force (odds ratio, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.00-1.06; P = .045).

Conclusions

The laryngeal force sensor is capable of providing dynamic force measurements throughout suspension microlaryngoscopy. An increase in maximum force during surgery may be a significant predictor for the development of tongue-related symptoms and an abnormal EAT-10 score. Female patients may also be at greater risk for developing postoperative tongue symptoms.

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