Conclusions: Medialization thyroplasty was effective in improving swallowing function as well as vocal function in most cases with unilateral vocal fold paralysis. The impact of medialization thryoplasty was insufficient for the case with severe atrophy and that in which the vocal fold was fixed in the lateral position. Objectives: To evaluate the impacts and limitations of medialization thyroplasty on swallowing function of the patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis. Methods: Eight cases (mean age 68.5 years) with unilateral vocal fold paralysis chiefly complaining of swallowing disturbance were studied. All patients underwent thyroplasty type I. The causes of the paralysis were lung cancer in four cases, esophageal cancer in one case, aortic aneurysm in one case, subarachnoid hemorrhage in one case, and unknown in one case. Subjective swallowing function score, maximum phonation time (MPT), mean flow rate (MFR), amplitude perturbation quotient (APQ), and pitch perturbation quotient (PPQ) were examined pre- and postoperatively. Results: The swallowing score improved in all except two cases. However, bilateral thryoplasty was necessary for the case with severe vocal fold atrophy and arytenoid adduction was needed for the case in which the vocal fold was fixed in the lateral position. The swallowing score, MPT, and MFR showed significant improvement after surgery.
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