View Full Version : Surgery for bilateral vocal cord paralysis
06-12-2006, 03:12 PM
Our 2-year-old daughter has bilateral vocal cord paralysis. We have been given conflicting advice from different ENT surgeons about the age at which she should have surgery to allow her to be decannulated (she will need either a cordotomy or an arytenoidectormy). One surgeon will do it now, while the other wants to wait until she is 4 or older.
We are wondering whether we should "split the difference" and do it when she is 3.
Have any of you ever heard that it is better to wait until a child is 3 rather than do it at 2? What have you been told about what the advantages or disadvantages are or doing it at different ages?
Thanks. Any input is greatly appreciated.
06-12-2006, 07:04 PM
I don't have any answers for you personally, sorry. Does your child see local physicians? If so, maybe you can contact Dr. Cotton in Cincinnati. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org and here is a link to a list of airway disorders addressed by him and his staff.
Cinci Children's (http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/svc/alpha/o/ent/programs/default.htm)
I don't know if you are familiar with his program, but they have phenomenal success with airway issues in children. If you can't come to Cinci, he may recommend someone closer to you. I hope all goes well and you can get some answers! Emails are answered in a timely way. Let us know what you find out.
06-12-2006, 08:54 PM
I trhink they probably say an older age to allow time for growth, which gives them more room "to work". Deb
Julie, Joey's mom
06-12-2006, 10:51 PM
My son Joey also had BVCP. We began going to Dr. Cotton because our ENT wasn't willing to even discuss surgery before the age of 2, and for some reason, docs in WI do not decann. in the winter, which would have meant an extra year with the trach and THEN surgery. Dr. Cotton told us that if the vocal cords do not move before the age of two, the chance of them starting to work on their own is unlikely. He operated on our son at 18 months of age, and 3 months later, Joey is decannulated.
I would say what I felt the biggest disadvantage of NOT waiting is the fact that the surgery is irreversible and permanently affects vocal quality. So maybe there is always that "what if we had waited?".
The advantage, of course, is the possibility of earlier decann. and all the good stuff that comes along with it!
I would HIGHLY recommend getting in to see Dr. Cotton. It was very difficult for us to travel back and forth (not to mention a bit costly) but it has been worth it (and that is an understatement). Â*http://www.tracheostomy.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Any questions, don't hesitate to PM!
06-12-2006, 10:54 PM
From emailing with Dr. Cotton, talking with our ENT, and my research if the nerves in the cords are going to grow back, it takes about a year and a half. If there isn't improved movement after that, the chances of the nerves regenerating is very, very small, but it does happen. From my research, many doctors are comfortable doing the surgery after a year and a half.
06-13-2006, 03:06 PM
Joel had a vocal chord lateralization done at 20 months and was decannulated one month later. Cincinatti had no issues with doing it at that age. I'm glad they did. His vocal quality isn't perfect, but it's much better than it was when he was trached. I don't think the outcome would have been different if we'd waited until Joel was older. This is only my opinion though. I say go for it!
06-13-2006, 05:36 PM
I'll be of no help. What everyone already said is true as far as I am concerned. Indie just turned 4 are we are still waiting....We are in Canada and our frustration level is this high http://www.tracheostomy.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/hairpull.gif . We would love to see Indie get her trach out but can't afford the 95 000 dollar bill to see the man Dr. Cotton. Good luck to you, hope you get some answers.
ps If you have seen no movement, I say go for it.
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