Vocal cord paralysis

Case contributed by Alexandra Stanislavsky
Diagnosis almost certain


New hoarse voice. Recent history of total thyroidectomy.


The following features of right vocal cord paralysis are demonstrated:

  • dilatation of the right vallecula
  • fullness and medial displacement of the right aryepiglottic fold
  • thickening and medial displacement of the right vocal cord
  • dilatation of the right pyriform sinus
  • enlargement of the right laryngeal ventricle

There are surgical clips indicating prior thyroidectomy, and perioperative injury to the right recurrent laryngeal nerve is the likely etiology in this patient. 

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