Comparison of voice therapy and selective electrical stimulation of the larynx in early unilateral vocal fold paralysis after thyroid surgery: a retrospective data analysis.
The goal of the retrospective study was to investigate the 3-month-outcome after treatment of patients with early unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP) with either standard voice therapy (VT) or selective electrical stimulation of the larynx (SES).non-randomized retrospective study SETTING: 1519 patients who underwent thyroid surgery between 2015 and 2018 were analyzed according vocal fold mobility; UVFP patients were treated either by VT or SES PARTICIPANTS: 51 UVFP patients MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: 51 UVFP patients have been advised regarding treatment options like either VT (group 1) or SES (group 2). The patients of group 1 (n=26) and 2 (n=25) were re-assessed up to 3 months post-operatively regarding UVFP persistence/recovery and perceptive voice sound quality. At follow-ups, perceptual analysis of voice sound (using roughness=R/breathiness=B/hoarseness=H scale) and endoscopic laryngoscopy have been performed. Position of immobile vocal fold, shape of glottal closure and RBH parameters have been considered for statistical analyses.Restitution of UVFP with regular respiratory vocal fold mobility of both vocal folds occurred in 53.8% of group 1 (VT), and in 40.0% of group 2 (SES) after 3 months of therapy between both groups. No difference could be seen for RBH, type of glottal closure and position of ailing vocal folds in patients with persisting UVFP within both groups and between the groups.The study reveals that SES can achieve similar functional outcome in early UVFP. Thus, it should be considered as an equivalent therapy alternative to VT for treatment of early UVFP patients since no significant difference in vocal outcome and glottal configuration between the two groups could be demonstrated.