Sugery is typically performed through the mouth, using a laryngoscope, with a patient asleep. A laser may be used to remove a portion of the arytenoid and/or vocal fold. As the body heals, a small gap is left between the vocal folds which allow patients to breathe easier.
Full closure of the vocal folds is optimal for optimal voice production and swallowing ability. Thus, surgery to open the glottis, such as arytenoidectomy carries with it the risk of worsening a patient’s voice or swallowing ability.
Alternatives to an arytenoidectomy may include tracheotomy, cordotomy, and vocal fold lateralization.