Thyroarytenoid Myomectomy with False Vocal Fold Ablation for Spasmodic Dysphonia

Kirsten Meenan, MD | Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. Kirsten Meenan is a recipient of the 2023 Dysphonia International Research Travel Award in partnership with The Voice Foundation. Dr. Meenan participated in the 2023 Voice Foundation Conference and presented research entitled, “Thyroarytenoid Myomectomy with False Vocal Fold Ablation for Spasmodic Dysphonia.”

When asked what it meant to attend The Fall Voice Conference, Dr. Meenan stated “it meant so much! This was my second Fall Voice Conference and the first one as a new attending. Meeting other laryngologists and discussing our research was exciting and educational, and will help me be a better laryngologist to my patients.”

Below is an abstract of Dr. Meenan’s poster presentation.


Additional Authors: Harlene Kaur, BS; Kenneth Yan, MD; Timothy Blood, MD; Neelaysh Vukkadala, MD; Gerald Berke, MD

Objectives: Describe the technique and outcomes of endoscopic thyroarytenoid myomectomy with false vocal fold ablation for adductor spasmodic dysphonia.   

Study Design: Retrospective case study  Setting: Single-site academic tertiary care voice center  Methods: Adult adductor spasmodic dysphonia patients who underwent endoscopic bilateral thyroarytenoid myomectomy with false vocal fold ablation from August 2020 to April 2023 were identified from the operative log. Of 34 patients who had a thyroarytenoid myomectomy, 24 had bilateral thyroarytenoid myomectomy with false vocal fold ablation, and 20 completed the Voice Handicap Index-10 and Voice-Related Quality of Life questionnaires preoperatively and postoperatively at three and six months.  

Results: Twenty patients (13F, 7M) with a median age of 60 years (range 38-73) were included. Three patients had prior selective laryngeal adductor denervation-reinnervation surgery; one also had an open thyroarytenoid myomectomy. VHI-10 and V-RQOL significantly improved at three months (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001) and six months (p = 0.005 and p = 0.017, respectively). Results for VHI-10 and V-RQOL were sustained from three to six months (p = 0.06 and p = 0.169, respectively). Sex, age, and history of prior surgery were not predictive of questionnaire outcomes at three months, except males showed a statistically significant improvement in V-RQOL (p = 0.045) and trended that way for VHI-10.  

Conclusion: Thyroarytenoid myomectomy with false vocal fold ablation is a minimally invasive surgery for adductor spasmodic dysphonia that can significantly improve VHI-10 and V-RQOL with minimal morbidity. Long-term results are currently being studied in this patient population.  

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Sponsoring Organizations

The Fall Voice Conference is designed to encourage and educate professionals on a multi-disciplinary approach to the management of vocal disorders. The focus of this conference is the clinical care of patients with voice-related difficulties and how clinical and basic science research guide clinical care. For more information:

Dysphonia International is dedicated to improving the lives of people with spasmodic dysphonia and related voice conditions through research, education, awareness, and research.