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March 1981

Persistent Hoarseness After Surgical Removal of Vocal Cord Lesions

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Program of Communicative Disorders (Dr B. M. Baker and Ms Fox), and the Section of Otolaryngology (Dr McMurry), University of Louisville School of Medicine; and the Department of Biology, Indiana University Southeast, New Albany (Dr C. D. Baker).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1981;107(3):148-151. doi:10.1001/archotol.1981.00790390014005

• Surgical intervention to remove vocal cord lesions usually results in normal vocal cord quality postoperatively. However, some patients exhibit persistent hoarseness after surgery, and often they are referred to a speech pathologist for vocal rehabilitation. In this study, factors were identified in the case histories, surgical management, and behavior during voice rest of patients who experienced persistent hoarseness postoperatively. Eight of ten adult subjects were interviewed and their voices were tape-recorded before and after surgery and were determined to be hoarse postoperatively. Cumulative medical history was the only significant factor that related to persistent hoarseness. Medical histories of disease or infection affecting the respiratory tract were among the specific factors that were identified. Results indicate that patients with these medical factors should be counseled about the risk of persistent horseness after surgery.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1981;107:148-151)

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