Patient perspectives on dysphonia after thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer

Maggie Kuhn, Gary Bloom, David Myssiorek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the frequency and consequences of patient-reported post-thyroidectomy voice disorder (PTVD) after surgery for thyroid cancer. Study Design: Retrospective review of data gathered from a survey. Participants: Members of the Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association (ThyCa). Methods: ThyCa members were asked about their thyroid disease and surgery, voice disturbance, impact on quality of life, treatment, and non-identifying demographics in a 36-item electronic questionnaire. Patients with preoperative voice disturbance or vocal fold immobility and those reporting postoperative vocal fold paralysis were excluded. Results: A total of 4426 members responded (37% response rate), and PTVD was reported by 51.1% of responders. Most were temporary (85.9%), with a minority reporting permanent hoarseness. Rates of postoperative dysphonia were similar between the extent of surgery and histology. Patients with PTVD predominantly characterized their impairment as loss of loudness and an inability to shout or sing. Nearly a quarter of patients reporting PTVD identified detrimental impact to their professional or personal lives. Only 57 patients (3.4%) were offered voice therapy; however, more than two-thirds of them (73.7%) experienced at least partial improvement. Conclusions: We report the results of a large-scale patient survey to underscore the commonness of postoperative hoarseness and its impact on patients. Level of Evidence: 4

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-114
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Postoperative dysphonia
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Thyroidectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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