Medialisation thyroplasty is considered the ‘gold standard’ treatment for unilateral vocal fold paralysis, enabling improvement of voice and swallowing function, and preventing life-threatening aspiration events. The most commonly used laryngeal implants induce some degree of local tissue inflammatory response, and carry the risk of immediate or delayed implant extrusion.
This paper describes a novel approach for medialisation thyroplasty. Specifically, it utilises a ribbon of autologous tensor fascia lata harvested at the time of surgery. This is layered within the paraglottic space in a manner similar to Gore-Tex thyroplasty.
Thus far, this method has been accomplished in two patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis, who also received prior radiotherapy to the head and neck.
Given the increased risk of post-operative wound breakdown and infection in irradiated patients, it is suggested that this new approach will lead to improved outcomes, and a decrease in complications such as extrusion or wound infection, particularly in this patient population.
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