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Original Article
May 17, 2010

Outcomes of Fat Injection Laryngoplasty in Unilateral Vocal Cord Paralysis

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Otolaryngology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung (Drs Fang and Chuang), School of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan (Drs Fang and Li), Department of Otolaryngology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (Dr Li), Cathay Medical Research Institute (Ms Chen), Department of Otolaryngology, Cathay General Hospital (Dr Wang), and School of Medicine, Fu Jen Catholic University (Dr Wang), Taipei, and School of Public Health, China Medical University, Taichung (Dr Wang), Taiwan; and Department of Otolaryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Boston (Dr Gliklich). Dr Fang is now with the Department of Otolaryngology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;136(5):457-462. doi:10.1001/archoto.2010.42

Objective  To analyze outcomes following fat injection laryngoplasty in patients with unilateral vocal cord paralysis.

Design  Longitudinal outcomes evaluation study.

Setting  Tertiary referral voice center.

Patients  Thirty-three consecutive patients with unilateral vocal cord paralysis undergoing autologous fat injection laryngoplasty with preoperative and serial postoperative follow-up at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

Intervention  Autologous fat injection laryngoplasty.

Main Outcome Measures  Voice laboratory measurements, Voice Outcome Survey, and 36-item Short Form Health Survey.

Results  Except for the physical functioning dimension of global health, voice-related subjective outcomes and acoustic variables of the patients significantly improved after surgery (P < .05). Compared with population norms, the mean (SD) scores of patients were inferior on the 36-item Short Form Health Survey dimensions of physical functioning (80.7 [22.3] vs 90.2 [17.4]) and role functioning–physical problems (65.0 [36.2] vs 80.2 [36.2]). Overall, 88.9% (24 of 27) of the patients were satisfied with their surgery.

Conclusions  Fat injection laryngoplasty seems to be effective in enhancing acoustic and quality of life outcomes in patients with unilateral vocal cord paralysis. The effect is sustainable over 12 months.