Impact of vocal fold augmentation and laryngoplasty on dyspnea in patients with glottal incompetence

Gregory R. Dion, Mark A. Fritz, Stephanie E. Teng, Sonya Marcus, Yixin Fang, Ryan C. Branski, Milan R. Amin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: Given that the vocal folds are active organs of respiration, reports of dyspnea in the context of glottic insufficiency are not uncommon. We hypothesize that improved glottal closure via framework surgery or vocal fold augmentation improves dyspnea symptoms. Study Design: Retrospective review. Methods: Charts of patients undergoing procedures to correct glottal insufficiency, either via vocal fold augmentation (VFA) or medialization laryngoplasty (ML) between December 2012 and September 2015 were reviewed (n = 189). Modified Borg Dyspnea Scale (MBDS) and Modified Medical Research Council Dyspnea Scale (MMRCDS) data were collected before and after intervention. Age, body mass index (BMI), and sex, as well as pulmonary and cardiac comorbidities were considered. Subgroup analysis was performed on individuals with subjective dyspnea prior to intervention. Results: For the entire cohort, differences in the MMRCDS and MBDS were not statistically different pre- and postintervention (P =.20 and P =.12, respectively). Patients with BMI <30 experienced more improvement on the MBDS (P =.03). Both the MMRCDS and MMBDS improved post-procedure (P =.001 and P =.001, respectively) in patients reporting dyspnea prior to intervention. Conclusions: Patients with glottic insufficiency and dyspnea prior to intervention to improve glottic closure had a significant reduction in dyspnea following treatment. Conversely, subjects without complaints of dyspnea prior to intervention had variable outcomes with regard to dyspnea symptoms. Additionally, based on data from the entire cohort, VFA or ML did not worsen dyspnea symptoms. These data may assist in counseling and/or selection of patients considered for procedures to improve glottic closure. Level of Evidence: 4. Laryngoscope, 128:427–429, 2018.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-429
Number of pages3
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


  • Dyspnea
  • medialization laryngoplasty
  • type I thyroplasty
  • vocal fold
  • vocal fold augmentation
  • vocal fold paralysis
  • voice


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