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Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 1989;246(5):397-402.

New surgical techniques for voice improvement.

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  • 1University Hospital Groningen, ENT Department, The Netherlands.


Laryngeal framework surgery for improving or changing the voice is a challenging development in phoniatric surgery. Basically two categories can be distinguished: (1) attempted medialization of the vocal fold, as for the treatment of paralytic dysphonias (arytenoid rotation technique and Isshiki's type I thyroplasty); (2) adjustment of the vocal fold's tension to produce changes in vocal pitch, as for the treatment of transsexuals or mutational dysphonia (cricothyroid approximation, Isshiki's type III thyroplasty and LeJeune's anterior commissure laryngoplasty). Both types of surgery are best performed with the patient under local anesthesia so that fine tuning of the voice is possible by monitoring the voice during the surgical procedure. The techniques of arytenoid rotation and Isshiki's type I thyroplasty are described in detail and the result of a combination of these procedures is illustrated by a case history of an aphonic patient with unilateral vagus nerve paralysis and subsequent severe incomplete glottal closure during phonation. In addition, the results achieved in several other patients are presented. Our current experience with laryngoplastic surgery and its variations is such that endolaryngeal Teflon or collagen injections are no longer used in our department. To date, we have seen no complications from the laryngoplasties and the voice results have been excellent.

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