Microscopic bilateral posterior cordotomy in severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome with bilateral vocal cord paralysis
Soylu, Akin Cem
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Vocal cord paralysis is a rare cause of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Recurrent laryngeal nerve injury after thyroid gland surgery is one of the leading causes of acquired vocal cord paralysis. A 46-year-old woman with OSAS due to bilateral abductor vocal cord paralysis was presented. She had thyroidectomy 30 years ago and had a weak, breathy voice. She had been referred with a history of high-pitched snoring, apnea witnessed by her spouse, and excessive daytime sleepiness for the last 5 years. Full-night polysomnography revealed that her apnea-hypopnea index was 72/h and minimal oxygen saturation level was 81%. There was no REM and deep sleep periods. Ear-nose-throat consultation offered an endoscopic bilateral posterior cordotomy operation via microscopic suspension laryngoscopy (MLS) as a treatment option. Instead of using a nasal positive airway pressure (nCPAP) device, she was treated surgically. Her OSAS resolved completely within 5 months of the surgery. Her phonation was preserved, and symptoms such as snoring and hypersomnolance disappeared. In OSAS patients with bilateral vocal cord paralysis, MLS-associated bilateral posterior cordotomy can be a choice of treatment as an alternative to nCPAP application.