Transoral Tubed Supraglottoplasty: A New Minimally Invasive Procedure for Aspiration

Yue Ma, Matthew R. Naunheim, Jill Gregory, Peak Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: We describe a new procedure for aspiration called tubed supraglottoplasty (TS). TS is a transoral procedure that approximates the aryepiglottic (AE) folds and arytenoids. This narrows the laryngeal inlet. This procedure has been used to improve swallowing and reduce aspiration in patients with vocal fold paralysis. We describe the technical aspects of TS and report on 11 patients. Methods: TS is done by oral intubation followed by suspension laryngoscopy. An incision is made along the AE fold into the posterior commissure and then continued to the opposite AE fold. Dissection within this incision creates two mucosal flaps, one based on the laryngeal surface and the other on the pharyngeal surface. Two 1-cm releasing incisions are made at each end of the AE fold. The laryngeal mucosal flap is approximated using a 3-0 self-locking running suture. The pharyngeal mucosal flap is approximated as a second layer. This double-layered mucosal V-Y advancement flap builds up the posterior laryngeal height. It narrows and “tubes” the supraglottis. Results: All patients tolerated TS without airway complications. Ten of the 11 patients reported improved swallowing function with less aspiration. Six of the 8 patients with prior G-tubes had their gastrostomy tube removed. Postoperative laryngoscopy showed a narrowed “tubed” supraglottis with a higher posterior wall preventing spillover and aspiration. An improved Functional Oral Intake Scale was recorded in ten of eleven patients. Conclusion: TS is a minimally invasive procedure that can improve swallowing and reduce aspiration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1122-1128
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • aspiration
  • dysphagia
  • transoral surgery
  • tubed supraglottoplasty


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