OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to identify the impact of unilateral vocal cord paralysis (UVCP) on an individual's quality of life both before and after thyroplasty. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: This was a prospective observational outcome study of consecutive patients presenting to a laryngology clinic with UVCR Participants received The Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36), the Voice Handicap Index (VHI), and the Voice Outcome Survey (VOS). Patients underwent medialization laryngoplasty with silastic, with or without arytenoid adduction. Outcome measures were repeated after surgery. RESULTS: A review of 45 patients at presentation revealed statistically significant reductions in quality of life as measured by each survey. Marked improvements were noted after surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Our preoperative data support a profile of significant general health-related and voice-related limitations caused by UVCP Patient perceptions improved significantly after the surgical treatment of glottal insufficiency. SIGNIFICANCE: The SF-36, VHI, and VOS provide an important complement to traditional endpoints in the analysis of patients with UVCP.
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