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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 166-168

Vocal cord paralysis following orthognathic surgery intubation

1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, K D Dental College and Hospital, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, USA
3 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Tufts School of Dental Medicine, Boston, USA

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Fauzdar
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, K D Dental College and Hospital, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
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DOI: 10.4103/2231-0746.92785

PMID: 23483672

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The incidence of recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis following short-term oro-endotracheal intubation for any surgical procedure is very rare. The diagnosis becomes very difficult if the surgical procedure may alter the vocal characteristics following surgery. We report a case of a 24 year-old healthy male patient who developed prolonged hoarseness which developed after having undergone a bimaxillary orthognathic surgical procedure. Following surgery, the patient's complaints of hoarseness and mild coughing on taking thin liquids were investigated with the assistance of the otolarynology voice department. A flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy and videostroboscopy showed a partial paralysis of the left vocal cord suggesting damage to the left recurrent laryngeal nerve. The recovery was gradual and resolved without any intervention in approximately 6 weeks. Prolonged change or loss of voice quality following an orthognathic surgical procedure, as discussed in this case, when associated with difficulty in swallowing thin or thick liquids warrants a thorough investigation and can be managed at times with observation alone.

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