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Massachusetts Eye and Ear
/assets/MEE/svg/default.svg Vocal Fold Immobility

Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Vocal Fold Immobility

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Overview

In children with vocal fold immobility (VFI) either one or both vocal folds are not moving properly.

4Common Symptoms

  • Hoarseness
  • Breathing issues
  • Problems with swallowing
  • Liquids or solids may head toward or into the airway when swallowing

Diagnosis and Treatment

Because of this wide range of causes, approaches to treatment vary. Some cases will resolve over time, but management of the symptoms is still necessary. Those with one vocal cord not moving may have voice or swallowing problems. If these symptoms are severe, a short-term solution would include a temporary surgical procedure with injection of a slowly dissolving material that moves the vocal cord into a better position. If the movement does not recover, certain surgeries can provide a more long-term option such as thyroplasty or nerve reinnervation.

Meet Our Team

We bring together physicians, speech-language pathologists, and other healthcare professionals to provide treatment to patients suffering from breathing troubles.


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