Cordotomy versus Tracheotomy
I am faced with a dilemma. My vocal cords are paralyzed bilaterally from radiation treatment that ended approximately one year ago. Because of this, I have difficulty breathing, although I can eat, talk and drink fluids fine. The ENT wants to put a Trach-tube in, and then do a cordotomy. A Cordotomy is where a laser removes a portion of one or both vocal cords, to make the opening larger for easier breathing. There are risks, such as loss of voice, and aspiration problems. However, I am willing to take those risks, if that means no Tracheotomy. At age 62, I do not think placing a trach-tube first is wise. It will create more scar-tissue, and more swelling. The doctor feels that because of the swelling I already have, the trach-tube is a safety measure. I have spoken with other people that were in the same position as I am in, and their doctor did not do a Tracheotomy first. They did the Cordotomy, and told patient that IF NEEDED during the surgery or after, if swelling became a problem, a temporary Trach-tube would be placed. This is the route I desire, yet doctor is unwilling. I will be getting a second opinion–or basically try to find a doctor willing to forgo the trach-tube first. Has anyone else had any experience with this? Thank-you. By the way, the one person that related about their surgery, is very satisfied.