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Bilateral vocal cord paralysis and airway obstruction during postoperative period after partial glossectomy

  • Jaegyok Song1
  • Heeyeon Sung2
  • Min A Kwon1
  • Sung Mi Ji1
  • Seokkon Kim1,*,

1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, School of Medicine, Dankook University, 31116 Cheonan, Republic of Korea

2Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Dankook University Hospital, 31116 Cheonan, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2024.034 Vol.20,Issue 3,March 2024 pp.106-109

Submitted: 30 May 2023 Accepted: 03 July 2023

Published: 08 March 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Seokkon Kim E-mail:


Bilateral vocal cord paralysis is a rare complication of endotracheal intubation, causing serious problems. We report a case of bilateral vocal cord paralysis and airway obstruction in the postoperative period after partial glossectomy. A 61-year-old male patient with diabetes mellitus underwent partial glossectomy under general anesthesia. The anesthesia during surgery was uneventful. After extubation, the patient appeared to have airway obstruction and complained of dyspnea. Flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy was performed immediately, and the patient was diagnosed with bilateral vocal cord paralysis. Therefore, reintubation was performed. The patient was extubated the following day and discharged with incomplete recovery of vocal cord paralysis. The study findings indicate that inappropriate endotracheal tube location and cuff pressure can cause bilateral vocal cord paralysis. The involvement of head position and tongue traction during glossectomy was suggested in this case. Anesthesiologists should be able to consider and manage bilateral vocal cord paralysis in patients with airway obstruction in the postoperative period.


Airway obstruction; Extubation; Glossectomy; Vocal cord paralysis

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Jaegyok Song,Heeyeon Sung,Min A Kwon,Sung Mi Ji,Seokkon Kim. Bilateral vocal cord paralysis and airway obstruction during postoperative period after partial glossectomy. Signa Vitae. 2024. 20(3);106-109.


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