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AglaiaD 09-06-2016 06:48 PM

Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Regeneration
Hi Everyone -

A week ago I had a partial thyroidectomy to remove a 4.1cm large nodule. A risk factor for that procedure is that about 1% of patients end up with a severed recurrent laryngeal nerve. That is what happened in my case, which means I cannot speak normally. My voice is a bit louder than a whisper and some letters are difficult. The surgeon told me that my nerve was quite thin at 2mm (apparently they range about 2mm to 5mm in thickness). They stitched it back during surgery, but are not sure how much it will recover. I have been referred to the Voice Clinic in a couple of months, but am looking for additional info in the meantime. Questions I now have are as follows:

1) If the nerve regenerates well enough, does that mean that it will actually be able to move the paralyzed side of the vocal cord again? Or just that the other side will compensate to allow me to speak better.
2) How long can one expect a recurrent laryngeal nerve regeneration to take before knowing whether or not it's successful?
3) What are some exercises I can do (if any) to help the process along? A friend who is a speech language pathologist, but doesn't specialize in this area, feels that focusing on vowels could work to get the vibration going.
4) I've read that massage on the neck may also work.
5) Any other brilliant suggestions?

I am to go back to work in 1.5 weeks, so am trying to figure out how I can communicate. I'm a project manager, so easily spend 7 hours a day talking with people, speaking with people on the phone, interacting with my team, team meetings, etc. People will need to be able to hear me more than 1m away.


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