Swallowing Dysfunction Secondary to Vocal Fold Paralysis
What are they?
The vocal folds close to protect the airway during a normal swallow, and if they cannot close properly, swallowed bolus (especially liquid) can “go down the wrong way” and cause patients to cough or develop aspiration pneumonias.
How are they treated?
The treatment goal is to improve the closure of the vocal folds so that the patient can better protect his/her airway with swallowing. In very mild cases, this can be done with therapy (strengthening the closure), however, in more severe cases often an injection or an implant surgery to add bulk to the vocal folds is helpful.