Thyroplasty is a medical procedure for patients with vocal cord paralysis or severe weakness. Vocal cord paralysis is caused due to injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve that is essential for controlling larynx's intrinsic muscles. This can also be due to viral infection, surgery, or trauma.Thyroplasty treatment is carried out to correct the vocal weakness by placing an implant in the larynx next to the vocal cord. The implant pushes the vocal cord near to the other vocal cord, which is essential to have a strong voice. The ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist performs thyroplasty when paralysis cannot be recovered. A small incision is made near the larynx in the skin, removing a small piece of the thyroid cartilage. A small block of medical grade plastic is placed into the cartilage, which pushes the vocal cord to midline by reducing the distance between the vocal cords.Vocal cord surgery is a painless procedure and is done under local anesthetic with sedation. The procedure takes about 1-2 hours to complete. The patient is asked not to lift heavy weights or do any strenuous activity for a week after the surgery. Drinking a lot of liquids is recommended and the patient is asked to refrain from yelling. Until the sutures are removed, the incision should remain dry. The results of the procedure are permanent, unlike a vocal injection, and no other procedures are required until the vocal cord that is weakened thins over time. If required, the implant can be removed and the procedure is reversible.
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