Vocal Fold Paralysis and Thyroid Surgery

  • Michael S. BenningerEmail author
  • Joseph Scharpf


Vocal fold immobility can be due to either paralysis, paresis, or immobility. Vocal fold mobility may be impaired either due to the primary thyroid disease, nerve injury with surgery, or in rare cases the intubation related to surgery. Aggressive malignant thyroid disease may directly involve the recurrent or superior laryngeal nerves, and thyroid surgery may result in temporary or permanent injury to the laryngeal nerves. This chapter will discuss the overall etiology and the thyroid disease specific causes of vocal fold immobility and vocal fold paralysis. It will describe surgical technical methods to avoid thyroid injury and importance of early evaluation of dysphonia with thyroid disease or following thyroid surgery. Finally, the chapter will discuss methods to rehabilitate voice and swallowing in patients with vocal fold paralysis. Controversies related to the evaluation, intraoperative assessment, and treatment and long-term treatment will be presented.


Vocal fold paralysis Thyroidectomy Dysphonia Medialization laryngoplasty Laryngeal reinnervation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Head and Neck InstituteThe Cleveland ClinicClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Lerner College of MedicineCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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