Inpatient injection laryngoplasty for vocal fold immobility: When is it really necessary?

Steven Zuniga, Barbara Ebersole, Nausheen Jamal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose To compare pulmonary and swallow outcomes of injection laryngoplasty when performed in the acute versus subacute setting in head & neck and thoracic cancer patients presenting with new onset unilateral vocal fold immobility. Materials and methods Case series with chart review at an academic cancer center over a 2 year period. Based on swallow evaluation, patients diagnosed with vocal fold immobility were grouped into an unsafe swallow group, injected as inpatients, and a safe swallow group, for whom injection laryngoplasty was delayed to the outpatient setting or not performed. Rates of pneumonia, diet recommendations, and swallow outcomes were compared between groups. Results 24 patients with new-onset vocal fold immobility were evaluated. 7 underwent injection in the inpatient setting, 12 in the outpatient setting, and 5 did not undergo injection. There was no perceived difference in speech and swallow outcomes between the inpatient and outpatient injection groups. Conclusions Injection laryngoplasty shows promise as an effective intervention for reducing aspiration risk and improving diet normalcy in patients with dysphagia as a result of unilateral vocal fold immobility. In patients determined to have a safe swallow, delay of injection laryngoplasty is not detrimental to swallow outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-225
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Dysphagia
  • Injection laryngoplasty
  • Swallow outcomes
  • Vocal fold immobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inpatient injection laryngoplasty for vocal fold immobility: When is it really necessary?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this