Vocal Fold Paralysis

Contact Information

Voice and Swallowing Clinic, UW Hospital

(608) 263-6190


Pediatric Voice and Swallow Clinic, American Family Children's Hospital
(608) 265-7760


Voice Clinic, 1 S. Park

(608) 287-2500

At the UW Health Voice and Swallow Clinic, patients experiencing vocal cord paralysis are evaluated for diet, medical history, vocal habits, professional speaking load and potential acid reflux problems. Magnified imaging of the vocal cords (stroboscopy) is obtained to record digital images of the vocal cords and their vibration.
Treating Vocal Cord Paralysis
Our team uses leading-edge diagnostic procedures including high speed digital imaging that are not available elsewhere in the state. A complete vocal cord evaluation will take approximately two hours.
Office-based procedures to repair vocal cord paralysis include vocal cord injections, performed with only topical or local anesthesia. An array of injectibles are available to patients. These injections can be performed with minimal discomfort, allowing patients to return to work the same day.
In the operating room, procedures including thyroplasty and arytenoid adduction are performed under local anesthesia with sedation. Multiple implants are available to optimize vocal cord function. A single overnight stay is required.
Neurorrhaphy or reinnervation can be performed to reposition nerves from the strap muscles in the front of the neck to the paralyzed vocal cord to provide nerve supply and to restore function to the paralyzed vocal cord. This procedure is an exciting option for patients who do not want implants. It may offer the best long-term results. This also requires a single, one night stay and is performed under general anesthesia.