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April 1991

Bilateral Vocal Cord Teflon Injection: An Ineffective Treatment for Recurrent Aspiration Pneumonia

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of California at Irvine Medical Center.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(4):427-429. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870160081014

• Recurrent aspiration pneumonia is a potentially lethal problem, and its treatment is controversial. A variety of procedures have been advocated to prevent aspiration. These are reviewed briefly. We have been dissatisfied with established procedures because they usually require external approaches with considerable complexity and potential complications. Therefore, we attempted to obstruct the glottic airway by injecting both vocal cords with Teflon in a series of patients with recurrent aspiration pneumonia secondary to severe neurologic impairments. Since Teflon injection of the vocal cords bilaterally did not reliably prevent aspiration, we cannot recommend it for routine use in the treatment of chronic aspiration.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991; 117:427-429)