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Reclaim Your
Voice & Breath

Voice and airway restoration procedures include a range of surgical interventions aimed at improving the function and structure of your vocal cords and air passages. These procedures address conditions such as vocal cord paralysis, airway stenosis, and voice disorders caused by injury or illness. Your ENT specialist will assess your condition and recommend the most suitable approach to restore your voice and airway function effectively.

Voice & Airway Restoration Procedures Treat:

  • Vocal cord paralysis
  • Airway stenosis
  • Voice disorders due to injury or illness
  • Vocal cord nodules or polyps
  • Scar tissue on vocal cords
  • Laryngeal trauma or damage
  • Chronic coughing or throat-clearing
  • Breathing difficulties related to airway obstruction

The Types of Voice & Airway Restoration Procedures

Airway Stenosis/Dilations

Airway stenosis is a condition where the air passages become narrowed, hindering the flow of air into and out of the lungs. This can result from factors like scarring, inflammation, or abnormal growths within the airway. Airway dilations are procedures aimed at widening these narrowed passages to restore proper airflow. Typically performed using minimally invasive techniques such as balloon dilation or airway stenting, these procedures alleviate symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing, allowing you to breathe more comfortably.

Voice Surgery for Vocal Cord Paralysis

Voice surgery for vocal cord paralysis involves interventions to restore movement and function to one or both vocal cords affected by paralysis. These procedures aim to improve vocal cord positioning, enhance vocal fold closure, and optimize vocal cord vibration. By addressing the underlying cause of vocal cord paralysis, these surgeries can help regain vocal strength, clarity, and control, allowing you to communicate more effectively and confidently.

Microlaryngeal Surgery

Microlaryngeal surgery is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat various disorders of the larynx or voice box. This technique uses specialized instruments and a microscope for precision, allowing for precise examination and targeted treatment of conditions such as vocal cord nodules, polyps, cysts, or lesions. Whether removing abnormal growths, repairing vocal cord injuries, or improving vocal cord function, microlaryngeal surgery aims to preserve vocal quality while minimizing trauma to surrounding tissues.

Tracheostomy

Tracheostomy is a surgical procedure in which a small opening, called a stoma, is created in the neck to access the windpipe or trachea. This procedure is often performed to establish an alternative airway in cases of severe obstruction, trauma, or respiratory failure. By bypassing the upper airway, tracheostomy facilitates breathing and can assist with the removal of secretions. Depending on your needs, it may be temporary or permanent.

Steroid Injections for Subglottic Stenosis

Steroid injections for subglottic stenosis (SGS) involve administering corticosteroids directly into the narrowed area below the vocal cords to reduce inflammation and scarring. This minimally invasive procedure can help improve airway function, alleviate breathing difficulties, and delay the need for more extensive surgery. Steroid injections are often part of a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to manage symptoms and enhance the quality of life for individuals with SGS.

Advantages of Voice & Airway Restoration Procedures:

  • Improved voice quality and clarity
  • Enhanced breathing and airflow
  • Reduction in throat discomfort or pain
  • Restoration of normal swallowing function
  • Increased vocal endurance and stamina
  • Enhanced communication abilities
  • Potential elimination of the need for long-term voice therapy or medication
  • Improved quality of life and confidence

Voice & Airway Restoration Procedures FAQs

What are the common causes of vocal cord paralysis?

Vocal cord paralysis can occur due to various factors, including trauma to the nerves controlling the vocal cords during surgery, viral infections such as Lyme disease or herpes simplex, tumors pressing on the nerves, neurological conditions like stroke or Parkinson’s disease, or idiopathic causes where the exact reason remains unknown.

Can voice therapy treat vocal cord paralysis?

While voice therapy can be beneficial in some cases of vocal cord paralysis, especially in mild or transient paralysis, it may not be sufficient for significant or long-standing paralysis. Voice therapy focuses on techniques to compensate for vocal cord dysfunction, improve breath support, and enhance vocal resonance. However, for cases requiring restoration of vocal cord movement and function, surgical interventions may be necessary.

How long is the recovery period after voice surgery?

Generally, patients may experience some discomfort, mild hoarseness, or throat irritation following the procedure. Full recovery may take several weeks to months, during which voice rest and specific postoperative instructions are crucial for optimal healing. Your surgeon will provide detailed guidance on postoperative care, including voice rest, dietary restrictions, and activity limitations, to facilitate a smooth recovery.

Will I be able to speak normally after voice surgery for vocal cord paralysis?

The goal of voice surgery for vocal cord paralysis is to improve voice quality and function, but the outcome can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of paralysis, underlying cause, and individual response to treatment. While many patients experience significant improvement in voice quality and projection, some may require additional interventions or ongoing voice therapy to achieve optimal results.

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Your Consultation

Alaska Facial Plastic Surgery and ENT is distinguished as the only practice in Alaska where our doctors have completed three combined fellowships: facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, advanced head and neck oncology, and rhinology/skull base surgery. As an elite team of experts, we collaborate on all procedures to curate personalized surgical plans. If you suffer from vocal cord paralysis, airway stenosis, or breathing difficulties related to airway obstruction, please schedule your consultation with our team to reclaim your voice.

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