Thyroplasty is the paralysis of the vocal cord when there is a disturbance in the nerve impulse in the voice box. The person with thyroplasty will face problems with speaking as well as breathing. Some of the causes include nerve damage, viral infections, and a few cancers. The treatment mostly involves surgery and voice therapy. There are mainly two vocal cords. Mostly when the person suffers from thyroplasty one vocal cord is paralyzed causing vocal and breathing difficulties. There might be problems while swallowing as well. Some of the other symptoms that can be noted are; 

  • Noise while breathing.

  • The vocal pitch is lost.

  • Lose the ability to speak loudly.

  • Experience choking or coughing while swallowing the food or saliva.

  • Speaking will not be continuous and one has to take frequent breaths while speaking.

  • The tendency of clearing the throat.

Causes for Thyroplasty

Thyroplasts happen when there is a disturbance in the nerve impulses which further results in vocal cord paralysis. Some of the other causes are as below;

  • While undergoing any surgery there might be the possibility of a vocal cord injury.

  • Injury in the neck or the chest can result in a vocal cord injury.

  • If a person would have suffered a stroke then there could be a possibility of affecting the vocal cord because a stroke can damage a part of the brain which is responsible for sending a message to the voice box.

  • Both cancerous and non-cancerous can grow around the muscles or nerves that control the voice box. This can be the cause of vocal cord paralysis.

  • Some kinds of infections also can be considered the cause of thyroplasty.

  • If a person suffers from any neurological conditions then there could be a chance of vocal cord paralysis.


The doctors first will study the symptoms and listen to the voice and the duration of the problem. Then, a few tests will be conducted to analyse the exact problems and start the medications accordingly. Laryngoscopy is the test where the doctor can view the vocal cord directly and see if one or both the vocal cords have been affected.

Laryngeal electromyography is the test that will help in measuring the electric current in the vocal cords. It will help the doctor to analyse the rate of recovery. Some other tests are blood tests, X-rays. MRI and CT scans.

Treatment at CARE Hospitals

The treatment depends on the cause of the effect. Some of the treatments are voice therapy, surgery, injections, and sometimes the doctors can combine the various treatments depending on the situation. Surgery may also be recommended by our expert doctors.

Voice Therapy treatment

This treatment is about the exercises and the activities mainly to strengthen the vocal cords, which further helps in the improvement of breath control especially during speech and protects the airway during swallowing. This therapy is the best if the vocal cords are paralyzed in specific locations that do not need any kind of repositioning.

Surgery for the Thyroplasty.

If there is no progress in the recovery then the doctors will suggest surgical options.

Some of the methods are as below;

  • Substances like body fat, and collagen are injected into the vocal cord.

  • Structural implants help in the repositioning of the vocal cord.

  • Vocal cord repositioning

  • Replacing the damaged nerve

Precautions to be followed after surgery

  • You will be monitored the whole night to see if there is no trouble breathing after the surgery. 

  • There will be a bandage around the neck and it should not be removed or touched.

  • The first three days are rest to the voice, which means no talking or whispering as well.

  • Diet will be liquid initially and slowly the normal diet is followed.

If there is any kind of bleeding or difficulty in breathing and if  there is fever it is important to consult the doctor immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

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