Recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis

Posted by deborah33 @deborah33, May 31 7:54pm

Hi, I have paralysis of my left vocal cord due to a surgical error (3 years ago, during a shoulder repair from an injury sustained at work). My ENT specialist here in NM said that NM does not have the ability to help me with what i need, so he referred me to Mayo. Well, Mayo has rejected me without even reviewing my case, the ENT here is the head of his dept at the teaching hospital at UNM, and says Mayo is the best at what i require. I am a nurse educator and dependent on my voice, which is of course not working properly. I was told that Mayos departments are all autonomous and have the right to select whom they treat. And they only accept previous pts of Mayo??
So my question to this forum is, how do I get an appt?

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@deborah33 Hello, I can understand your frustration in not getting an appointment. Can you give me some specifics of how you applied to Mayo, and in what department did you make your inquiry? Do you have health insurance that would be accepted at Mayo? If this was considered part of a work comp injury, that may play into this, but I don't know why or how. Work comp brings with it the possibility of the doctor needing to give up time for depositions in settling a case, and that would affect how many other patients they have time to see.

You can apply again or apply to a different Mayo campus or different department. If you can demonstrate that you are unable to receive the care locally to restore your voice, that could help you be accepted. I was a spine surgery case and I was rejected locally by 5 surgeons before I came to Mayo, and that probably helped me get in. I also have another condition that caused overlapping symptoms, and my case had an unusual presentation of pain distribution from a spine problem that had confused my prior consulting doctors. Some patients apply a second time and get in. It does depend on their case load and some departments are heavily booked with patients. Did your ENT try to refer you?

Mayo does have a surgery to place an implant that will allow a paralyzed vocal cord to meet up with the other which does restore the voice. Not all medical centers have this procedure, but I would seek that out at teaching hospitals that are part of medical schools. You would be closest to the Mayo Phoenix campus. Is that where you applied? There may be more specialists at Rochester, and you could get a different result.

There is also the Mayo Clinic Care Network where doctors at those hospitals consult with Mayo experts for patient care. Here is a page that shows Care Network Hospitals.
You could apply to different departments and if you were accepted at Mayo for something else, once you are accepted, they will assess all your conditions and refer you to another department. Perhaps the paralyzed vocal cord is the best avenue to try, but you may need some medical documentation of this to be reviewed by doctors at Mayo.

Can you shed some light on your process? What were you told in your denial?

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