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July 1996

Using Botulinum Toxin A to Improve Speech and Swallowing Function Following Total Laryngectomy

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(7):760-763. doi:10.1001/archotol.1996.01890190056013

Objective:  To evaluate a technique to reduce dysfunctional spasm in the pharyngoesophageal segment (PES) in patients after laryngectomy.

Design:  Pharyngoesophageal segment function related to voice and/or swallowing in patients who had undergone a laryngectomy was evaluated before and after the injection of botulinum toxin A.

Setting:  Academic referral medical center. Patients: Eight outpatients with voice and/or swallowing complaints after undergoing a total laryngectomy.

Interventions:  Videofluoroscopic contrast examination was completed to identify stricture vs spasm in the PES in patients with voice and/or swallowing complaints after undergoing a laryngectomy. Lidocaine hydrochloride injection under fluoroscopic guidance was completed to facilitate immediate relaxation of spasm. After positive results with lidocaine, botulinum toxin was injected into the same area to facilitate longer-lasting benefit.

Main Outcome Measure:  Patient report of benefit and videofluoroscopic evaluation of PES function.

Results:  Six of 8 patients demonstrated improved function within the PES after lidocaine injection. Five of these 6 received transcutaneous injection of botulinum toxin. Four of the 5 patients demonstrated improved swallowing and/or voice function, and 3 of these 4 received subsequent injections of botulinum. No serious complications were encountered.

Conclusions:  Transcutaneous injection of botulinum toxin in the PES under videofluoroscopic guidance provides improvement in voice and/or swallowing function without significant complications. Additional clinical study will be required to evaluate dose and technique influences on degree and duration of benefit and complications.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122:760-763