Have you recently lost your ability to speak? Are you experiencing breathing problems? These problems can point to vocal cord paralysis, a condition where the nerve impulses that run to the larynx (voice box) are interrupted, which causes paralysis of the surrounding muscles. Vocal cord paralysis is a serious condition that can impact a person’s ability to speak or breathe, potentially causing them to choke while eating. To combat the medical risks and issues with vocal cord paralysis, ENT Specialists at Ogden Clinic in Utah use vocal cord injections.
Vocal cord paralysis is characterized by:
Vocal cord paralysis can be caused by a variety of conditions including stroke, tumors, viral infections, and neurological conditions. People who have sustained neck or chest injuries, or injuries to the vocal cords during surgery, are often at risk for paralysis.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms and their cause, your Ogden Clinic doctor may prescribe a combination of treatments, including voice therapy, vocal cord injections, and/or surgery. Vocal cord injections are a good option for many patients as they add bulk to vocal cord muscles that have become thin and weak. The doctor will inject the paralyzed cord with a filler substance (body fat, collagen, or another material) to help it make closer contact with other vocal cords when speaking, swallowing, and coughing.
During the procedure, your doctor will numb the back of mouth and the vocal cords to reduce gag reflex. They will then inject the filler substance onto the damaged vocal cord in the back of the throat. If the doctor cannot go through a patient’s mouth, they will insert the needle through the neck, guided by a camera placed inside the nose. Following the injections, you will need to avoid smoking, speaking, or clearing your throat, giving the vocal cords time to heal.
If you experience trouble speaking or breathing due to vocal cord paralysis, an Ogden Clinic ENT Specialist can help. Call us to discuss vocal cord injections as a form of treatment.