Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2021; 25 (3): 1177-1184

DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202102_24820

Unilateral vocal fold paralysis post-thyroidectomy: does early intervention allow for better voice recovery?

G. Ruoppolo, L. Mariani, S. Quaglieri, L. Longo, P. Pescerelli, A. Cilfone, C. Cocchi, D. Marcotullio, A. Greco, M. De Vincentiis

Department of Sensorial Organs, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy. giovanni.ruoppolo@uniroma1.it


OBJECTIVE: Thyroidectomy is the primary cause of unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP). A delay in rehabilitation may cause dysfunctional phenomena and worsen dysphonia. The main aim is to investigate the impact of early Speech Therapy (ST) on voice recovery in UVFP post-thyroidectomy and propose an appropriate treatment schedule.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: 93 patients with UVFP were analysed. 72 presented transient paralysis and 21 permanent ones. Individuals with permanent paralysis were retrospectively divided in two groups. Group A was composed of 11 patients (8 F, 3 M; mean age: 50.5 ± 8.6) who received ST within 8 weeks; Group B comprised 10 patients (7 F, 3 M; mean age: 57 ± 11.5) treated after more than 8 weeks. Videolaryngostroboscopy (VLS) was assessed and both objective and subjective voice parameters were collected. The non-parametric Wilcoxon test was applied to the sample.

RESULTS: The resolution of supraglottic compensations was observed in 91% of cases in Group A, whereas in only 40% of cases in Group B. A functional glottal closure occurred in 73% of patients in group A, while it was completely absent in group B. Group A showed a statistically significant difference between the values of Jitter, NHR, TMF and VHI collected pre-ST compared to that collected after 1 year. Conversely, a statistically significant difference was found only for VHI values in group B.

CONCLUSIONS: Early ST brings benefits to patients with permanent UVFP, both on voice recovery and on quality of life. A ST protocol should be applied both before and after thyroidectomy. The ST treatment should start early after surgery.

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To cite this article

G. Ruoppolo, L. Mariani, S. Quaglieri, L. Longo, P. Pescerelli, A. Cilfone, C. Cocchi, D. Marcotullio, A. Greco, M. De Vincentiis
Unilateral vocal fold paralysis post-thyroidectomy: does early intervention allow for better voice recovery?

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2021
Vol. 25 - N. 3
Pages: 1177-1184
DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202102_24820