Author(s): Woodson G
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Abstract Aspiration caused by unilateral combined laryngeal and pharyngeal paralysis is a serious clinical problem. This article reviews the abnormal physiology, which includes glottal incompetence, impaired pharyngeal propulsion, and sensory loss, and reports the results of surgical treatment of, 13 patients who had significant dysphagia and aspiration caused by unilateral laryngeal and pharyngeal paralysis. In eight patients the cause was surgical resection or trauma of the tenth cranial nerve, with concomitant twelfth nerve injury in four. Four patients had central lesions. One patient had a surgical tenth cranial nerve injury as well as a stroke. Thyroplasty, alone in two patients, and combined with cricopharyngeal myotomy in a third, improved voice, but not swallowing. In all patients treated by arytenoid adduction plus cricopharyngeal myotomy, aspiration was eliminated, and patients gained weight. Six of these patients had been dependent on enteral tube feedings. The results support the safety and efficacy of simultaneous arytenoid adduction and cricopharyngeal myotomy for dysphagia caused by combined laryngeal and pharyngeal paralysis.
This article was published in Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports