Allograft (Alloderm) and autograft (Temporalis Fascia) implantation for glottic insufficiency: A novel approach

Melin Tan, Michael Bassiri-Tehrani, Peak Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: Traditionally, glottic insufficiency because of scar, atrophy, and sulcus has been treated by injection or medialization laryngoplasty. These procedures do not reestablish the vertical height of the vocal fold margin. We propose soft tissue augmentation laryngoplasty with allograft (sheet Alloderm; LifeCell Corporation, Branchburg, NJ) or autograft (temporalis fascia) via a minithyrotomy or a transoral approach. Study Design: A retrospective case series analysis of 21 patients treated by sheet Alloderm or temporalis fascia for correction of glottic insufficiency. Methods: Twenty-one patients with glottic insufficiency secondary to scar, atrophy, or sulcus were treated. Ten failed prior techniques. Seventeen had minithyrotomy by a small fenestration in the thyroid cartilage. Exploration of scar or lamina propria through the fenestration allowed for the creation of a pocket for Alloderm implantation within the intermediate layer of the lamina propria. Four patients underwent a transoral approach by cordotomy with either Alloderm or temporalis fascia implantation, which also allowed for exploration of scar but required repair using sutures. These implantation approaches allowed for both restoration of the layered structure and augmentation of the middle third of the musculomembranous vocal fold. Preoperative and postoperative videostroboscopic examinations were reviewed with review of clinical outcome. Results: With a median follow-up time of 12 months, patients demonstrated excellent long-term vocal fold augmentation and minimal absorption of the implant in 19 out of 21 patients. There is improved pliability of the vocal fold with good oscillation in scar patients. Conclusion: Minithyrotomy with soft tissue augmentation is a novel approach for soft tissue augmentation of glottic insufficiency. It has the advantage of augmentation of the medial edge of the vocal fold with a soft tissue implant that has long-term viability. Its role should be explored further in patients with atrophy and scar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-625
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Alloderm
  • Allograft
  • Minithyrotomy
  • Sulcus
  • Vocal fold atrophy
  • Vocal fold augmentation
  • Vocal fold scar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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