Botulinum toxin-assisted endoscopic repair of traumatic vocal fold avulsion

August 31, 2010
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Abstract

Blunt traumatic laryngeal injury in children often leads to intralaryngeal soft-tissue damage, which can quickly compromise an already small airway. Injuries requiring operative intervention have historically been repaired via open approaches such as thyrotomy and laryngofissure. These approaches carry significant long-term sequelae that can compromise the airway, deglutition, and voice. We describe a safe and effective alternative to open repair that includes the use of a botulinum toxin chemical myotomy to ensure optimal healing. We used this procedure to treat a 13-year-old boy who had experienced a traumatic avulsion of the true vocal folds. Postoperatively, his voice outcome was satisfactory, as evidenced by a marked improvement in his pediatric Voice Handicap Index score. No complication or compromise of the airway or swallowing occurred, and resolution of the botulinum effect was observed by 6 months postoperatively. The endoscopic approach supplemented by botulinum toxin injection avoids scarring and allows for safe postoperative extubation. Compared with open repair, it is associated with a shorter hospital stay and a lower risk of stenosis and fibrosis.

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