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Paralyzed vocal cord

RCB3000's picture
RCB3000
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2012

Wonder if anyone else had this problem. I had transhiatai esophgectomy on July 20. Upon waking up I couldn't talk. Tests and evaluations found that my left vocal cord had zero functio.

They say the nerve controlling was cut or bruised. Surgeon claims all work was done on other side of throat and if any problems he would expect right side, not left.

Besides no talk (think shallow whispers with only two or three words between breaths), I am having trouble swallowing without stuff going down into lung. Eye ear nose and throat guy painted cords with some " goop" and it helped a while, now getting worse so more goop in a couple weeks whe he has time.

Anyone else have this problem and what did you do? They say it will take one year waiting around to know if it's permanent.

Donna70's picture
Donna70
Posts: 920
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi,
Well I had the transhiatal esophagectomy in 12/09. I had a very high squeaky voice after and also had pxs swallowing and choking etc. Last year I went to an ENT affiliated with Hopkins. He told me I could get an injection that would last about 2 months, there was another option that might last 2 years and finally there was a permanent fix laryngealplasty.This is what I opted for. You are awake and they go down your throat and put a block against the weak cord. Mine was the left and my drs never denied it was a result of the surgery. Unfortunately I did not get stellar results. I choked badly during the surgery and when the dr was performing it they had to suction me at the same time all the other instruments were down there. So I am much better for not choking and swallowing but my voice was only great for the 5 days I had post surgery swelling. The surgeon said if I could have spoken better and did not have all the choking happen, I might have gotten better. I could have tweaking surgery but don't want to go thru it again. I would still recommend getting the injections and even the surgery because some people get excellent results. I can see waiting awhile but if they checked your cords and they are not moving, I would think this is permanent. I was told I was lucky that I could even talk. If I can help you further you can private message me here or email me at hoperene@aol.com. take care,
Donna70

RCB3000's picture
RCB3000
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2012

Thank you for your help. My doc is planning the injections for year to see if any recovery happens. You are stronger than me, I could never have a procedure while awake! It creeps me out just thinking about it. I even get knocked out for my scopes.

Donna70's picture
Donna70
Posts: 920
Joined: Aug 2009

Hey most people are asleep for their scopes, haven't heard anyone claiming to be awake. I was sedated. If I hadn't choked and had to be suctioned, I think it would have turned out better. I am hoping your voice returns but I knew pretty quickly after my surgery that my cord was either paralyzed or cut on the left side I had a 10 cm scar right at my neck. I think they can use botox. Hope they do something because whispering does not cut it. take care,
Donna70

ShellyAS
Posts: 24
Joined: May 2012

My husband had esophagectomy on 05/31/2012. He ended up with a paralyzed left vocal as well. His surgeon referred him to an ENT. Basically, the ENT said if it was more than likely the nerve was severed during surgery, the best course of treatment was the surgery. Once the ENT and surgeon spoke it was decided upon going right to the surgery. He was awake for it as ENT needed him to say certain sounds. David did not like going through it but did not think it was horrific. They actually put an implant next to the cord, which in my husbands case, is made out of GoreTex. This moved the cord closer to the midline resulting in better function.

It took a couple of weeks before we really noticed an improvement with his voice. In the beginning, if he talked too much, he would "slip" back prior to surgery. Now his voice is strong and sounds normal.

If you have more questions, please feel free to contact me.

Shelly

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

I went to a throat and nose specialist, who after 2 months, scoping..and doing a biopsy, missed the stage 4 tumor on m larnyx, cut into it and put an implant which nearly suffocated me to death, he sent me to another specialist and they found it in Nashville....rads and chemo and the extraction of the implant, was done, where i nearly died....i had a botched mess to deal with, and couldn't do anything to the doctor, i had a voice, but is rasy and low, i deal with breathing issues, but have to take it easy, I will be on pain pills, and anti depresseants for the rest of my life, Hey I',m being honest, but I am making the best of the situation....i work part time, until my body runs down, the B 12 shots are doing there thing...I hope the best, but am cancer free, I ask if any new develops have been made in my case, nothing....please feel free to contact me...I would like to know the outcome....Thanks for sharing Dennis

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