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vocal cord paralysis

Posted by @jennybell in Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat, Oct 30, 2012

My daughter, who just turned 18, has bilateral vocal cord paralysis that required her to get a tracheostomy to beath. It is a complication from having her thyroid removed a year ago. She is having a nerve reinervation surgery on Nov 9. Hopefully this will allow her to have her trach removed. The surgeon said we would know if it worked within a year. I am an ondology and hospice nurse, and am terrified of making the wrong desicion of which surgery to have done. Thier is a new procedure where they implant a pacemaker into the vocal cords but it won't be approved by the FDA until the first of the year. Anyone out there have any experience with the nerve surgery? Or help on how to deal with an angry, scared girl who people stare at constantly?

Tags: vocal cord


Posted by @ksparekh, Nov 6, 2012

Wish you and your daughter all the very best. My son has Bilateral vocal cord palsy at time of his birth. He is 2.5 years old now. I can completely understand your situation. Hope all things work out fine for you.


Posted by @jimjudym4, Nov 25, 2012

I have bilateral cord paralysis also and I did have a trach for 3 years. I have had 6 surgerys so far. The last one being the reinervation one. That was the first time I tried that. I am wondering if your daughter had it done. I had mine Sept.24 and I also got told it could take months before they know if it works. Since this last one my breathing is not good. I am now having a problem with another nerve that is working in reverse. Please tell your daughter I understand everything she is going through, I also had my thyroid removed because of cancer. Please let me know how she is and please tell her I understand she is scared because I am also. But one thing we need to do is take one day at a time and enjoy it. We will get better but it takes a very long time. I would love to talk to her.


Posted by @dand, Dec 22, 2015

My heart goes out to your daughter. I have bilateral vocal cord paralysis due to an unknown cause. I was diagnosed with a rare form of non-hodgkins lymphoma in February. The cancer occurred in my nose and sinuses.i received radiation and chemotherapy treatment, and the good news is I've been in remission since September. However, the VC issues keep getting worse. Every doctor i see first makes the assumption that it was caused by the radiation; however, the problem started before I ever received any cancer treatment, so that cannot be the cause. I've had a tracheoatomy since January due to the has gotten progressively worse, and my voice is now gone completely.there is no airflow at all through my airway (i.e. when I cover up the trach, I cannot breathe at all). I am beginning to have trouble swallowing as well, and we have discussed the possibility of having to have a feeding tube. All of the doctor's I see have no clue why this is happening. I suggested nerve damage, since that is the cause you always read about on the Internet, but they say that the likelihood of both the right and left nerves being affected simultaneously is unlikely. Please help,if you have any ideas I would really appreciate your time in replying. Thank you


Posted by @rebeccamcroberts, Dec 22, 2015

Hi @dand, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Thanks for sharing your experience - I'm sorry to hear what you're going through. From what I understand, it's fairly common for doctors not to be able to identify the cause of vocal cord paralysis, and I can imagine how frustrating it must be to not have an answer.

Some of the known causes are included in the link below. Did you experience any kind of neck or chest injury before the symptoms began?

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