Microscopic Voice Surgery
Microscopic voice surgery, otherwise known as microlaryngeal surgery, is a minimally invasive procedure used to correct voice disorders, speaking or breathing difficulties or other problems affecting the larynx. The larynx is located in the front of the neck and helps us breathe, swallow and speak as it controls the opening and closing of the windpipe. The larynx is also where the vocal cords are found. Microscopic voice surgery may be determined to be the best course of treatment after diagnostic testing and examinations have discovered the source of a persistent cough, hoarseness or various voice problems.This procedure is commonly used to treat conditions such as lesions, cysts, benign tumors and granulomas by removing the abnormal growths on the larynx. These are typically noncancerous growths that may develop in the area of the vocal folds as a result of persistent irritation or trauma.
The Microscopic Voice Surgery Procedure
General anesthesia is required when a patient is undergoing microscopic voice surgery. Once it has taken effect, the laryngoscope is properly placed in the patient’s mouth and navigated into the throat. Next, the surgical tools are inserted through the laryngoscope and directed into the larynx to reach the vocal folds. Making use of the instrument’s high magnification capabilities, the surgeon approaches the area in which the growth has been identified with precision and care.
Once the lesion that has formed on the surface of the vocal fold is reached, it will be cut away and completely removed with the surgical cutting tools. This technique allows for incredible accuracy in order to ensure that only the damaged tissue is removed and the surrounding area remains unaffected. By leaving the majority of the laryngeal structure intact and completely unharmed, microscopic voice surgery is a minimally invasive technique that offers a rapid healing process.
Recovery from Microscopic Voice Surgery
Following the procedure, you will be monitored for several hours then released to return home the same day. Most patients experience some level of discomfort after the surgery, but it will often respond well to over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If your pain is more significant, a stronger form of medication can be prescribed for short-term use. Cough medicine may be recommended as well to ensure that you do not irritate the sensitive tissue of the larynx as it recovers.
Speaking may be difficult for the first few days after microscopic voice surgery as the vocal folds are swollen and undergoing the healing process. It is best to rest your voice as much as possible in the initial weeks after surgery. Your doctor will provide detailed instructions on voice use limitations following microscopic voice surgery. After a follow-up appointment with your surgeon several weeks post-surgery, you will likely be cleared to resume your normal vocal activities.
Risks of Microscopic Voice Surgery
While microscopic voice surgery is considered a safe procedure, all forms of surgery do carry some risk. Although rare, the complications that are associated with microscopic voice surgery include a reaction to anesthesia, dental damage, temporary numbness of the tongue, bleeding, infection and less than optimal results. Choosing a physician with extensive experience in microscopic voice surgery can help lower the risk of encountering any difficulties.