During a thyroplasty procedure, the position of the vocal cords is changed in order to restore clarity and strength of the voice.
Reasons an individual may benefit from thyroplasty include:
- Vocal fold paralysis
- Vocal weakness
- Aging voice
Thyroplasty is a procedure that is typically performed under local anesthesia in the operating room. The surgeon begins by making an incision in the neck. The surgeon will then adjust the position of the vocal fold and insert an implant to keep it in place. Once the position of the fold has been adjusted, the surgeon will ask the patient to speak in order to gauge vocal strength. The surgeon and patient will sometimes "test" several different vocal fold positions before the ideal position is chosen.
Once the surgery site has healed, most patients will be able to speak normally. Depending on the severity of the problem, some patients may need to work with a speech therapist.