Phonatory effects of Type i thyroplasty implant shape and depth of medialization in unilateral vocal fold paralysis

Michael I. Orestes*, Juergen Neubauer, Elazar Sofer, Jonathon Salinas, Dinesh K. Chhetri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: Medialization thyroplasty (MT) is commonly used to treat glottic insufficiency. In this study, we investigated the phonatory effects of MT implant medialization depth and medial surface shape.

Methods: Recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) and vagal paralysis were simulated in an in vivo canine. A type 1 MT was performed using a silicone elastomer implant with variable medialization depths and medial surface shapes: rectangular, Vshaped, divergent, and convergent. The effects on phonation onset flow/pressure relationships and acoustics were measured.

Results: Increasing depth of medialization led to improvements in fundamental frequency (F0) range and normalization of the slope of pressure/flow relationship toward baseline activation conditions. The effects of implant medial shape also depended on depth of medialization. Outcome measures were similar among the implants at smaller medialization depths. With large medialization depths and vagal paralysis conditions, the divergent implant maintained pressure/flow relationship closer to baseline. The vagal paralysis conditions also demonstrated decreased fundamental frequency range and worse flow/ pressure relationship compared to RLN paralysis.

Conclusions: The depth and medial shape of a medialization laryngoplasty (ML) implant significantly affect both the F0 range and aerodynamic power required for phonation. These effects become more notable with increasing depth of medialization. The study also illustrates that ML is less effective in vagal paralysis compared to RLN paralysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2791-2796
Number of pages6
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Canine
  • Medialization thyroplasty
  • Vocal fold paralysis


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