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Laryngoscope. 2011 Apr;121(4):793-800. doi: 10.1002/lary.21431. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

Preliminary investigation of adjustable balloon implant for type I thyroplasty.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.



We present the adjustable balloon implant (ABI), a novel implant to be used in type I thyroplasty for the treatment of vocal fold paralysis. The ABI offers the same medialization provided by other implants, but can easily be catered to individual patient anatomy as well as modified postoperatively without the need for a revision thyroplasty.


Repeated measures with each larynx serving as its own control.


Medialization thyroplasty (MT) with the ABI was performed on five excised canine larynges. Mucosal wave, aerodynamic, and acoustic parameters were measured for three conditions: normal; right vocal fold paralysis; and paralysis with the ABI.


Insertion of the ABI resulted in significant decreases in both phonation threshold pressure and phonation threshold flow. Perturbation parameters of percent jitter and percent shimmer were also significantly decreased and restored to normal levels. Signal-to-noise ratio was significantly increased to the normal level as well. The mucosal wave was preserved after implant insertion.


This preliminary experiment showing significant improvements in aerodynamic and acoustic parameters demonstrates the potential of the ABI as a thyroplasty implant. Effective medialization and preservation of the mucosal wave combined with postoperative adjustability makes it a potentially valuable clinical device.

Copyright © 2011 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc., Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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