Thyroplasty is a procedure done to change the position of the vocal cord to improve a your voice and ability to cough.

The procedure

Once you are under general anesthesia, a small cut is made on your neck and the voice box is identified by the surgeon.

The surgeon will make a small hole in the voice box, then place an implant to move the vocal cord into the proper position.

After the implant is in place, you will be wakened and asked to speak. This is so the voice box can be “fine tuned.”

After surgery, you will remain in the hospital overnight.

Risks of thyroplasty

  • Neck soreness after surgery
  • Worsening of the voice
  • Infection
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bleeding
  • Skin and neck numbness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Reactions to anesthesia

After surgery

  • You will wake up with a bandage around your neck. Do not move it.
  • You are encouraged to get out of bed and take short walks with assistance.
  • Do not use your voice for three days after surgery, including talking, whispering or laughing. Avoid coughing, if possible.
  • After a week, it is okay to use your voice normally.
  • Two weeks after your surgery, you will have a follow-up visit in our office.

At home

  • Medication. Take your pain medicine as directed. Side effects may include drowsiness, or nausea and vomiting.
  • Laxatives. Occasionally patients become constipated with pain medications. If this occurs, over the counter Laxative can be taken.
  • Incision care. Leave the bandages on your skin alone. Do not wet the neck for three days after surgery. After this you may allow a small amount of water on the neck during shower. After one week, the bandages will fall off on their own, and you can cut any that no longer sticks to the skin.
  • Wound monitoring. If your incision becomes red, swollen or tender, call your physician immediately.