Does anyone's preemie have a paralyzed vocal cord??

Sheila - posted on 08/30/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My triplets were born at 27 weeks. 2 identical girls and a boy. One of my daughters passed away 3 months later (never got off the ventilator) but her twin sister was only on the ventilator for 6 weeks. She is now 16 months old and has a left paralyzed vocal cord most likely due to the ventilator. The ENT doctor diagnoised her with this problem about 6 months ago. Whenever we go out to eat and I give her water she gags like she is choking to death and of course everyone starts to stare at us. She can not drink out of a sippy cup only a bottle with a small nipple hole (and sometimes still gags). She starts her speech therapy next week to hopefully help some of this problem. Her Ped Dr. and therapist both think it is caused by her damaged vocal cord. You can also tell when she cries that there is something wrong. Her laughs are quiet also. Does anyone have an older preemie that has this condition and what long term affects do they have now from it??

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Sarah - posted on 03/10/2013

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My son was born at 23 weeks back in 2009. He had heart surgery at one month old along with a bunch of other stuff in our year long stay in the nicu. They paralyzed his left vocal cord while doing the surgery. He is now 3.5 he will be 4 in May. He cannot talk, yet, however he can cry and sign. Everything is harder, however it's worth it. My baby is here with my husband and myself. He has some oral aversion, some eating difficulties, however he had his g-tube and trach removed back in 2011. It only took a couple years for him to become a stronger boy. Keep your head up! Everything will work out to the glory of God!!

AUNKIA - posted on 09/03/2009

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WELL SHEILA MY SON WAS BORN AT 25 WEEKS. HE IS NOW 21 MONTHS. I UNDERSTAND TOTALLY WHAT YOU ARE GOING THRU. MY SON HAD TO HAVE A PEDIALIGATION TO CLOSE THE HOLE IN HIS HEART (THANK GOD IT WAS ONLY A SMALL ONE) AND THE ANETHISIA THAT THEY ADMINISTERED TO HIM CAUSED HIS LEFT VOCAL CORD TO BE PARALYZED. IN GOING TO THE ENT DOCTOR HE ASSURED ME HIS VOICE WOULD RETURN AROUND THE TIME HE TURNED 12 MONTHS. THE GOOD NEWS IS IT DID AND NOW YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER KNOWN IT WAS PARALYZED, HE TALKS GREAT!! SO I'M SAYING IS DON'T GIVE UP KEEP THE FAITH.

Sheila - posted on 09/01/2009

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Julie, Yes the ENT Dr. did the scope down her throat and seen the left cord was not moving. That was 6 months ago. I have to admit she has gotten a litter louder since then so I am hoping that the other cord is compensating the left. She will be tested again soon.



Thank you for your reply.

Alda - posted on 09/01/2009

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I am so very sorry to hear about your little girl. I can't imagine the pain of losing a child. I came close to losing one of mine due to a perforated NEC. My twins were born at 28 weeks. The one had/has a paralysed vocal cord, but this was also due to her PDA ligation. She had absolutely no voice after the surgery. She would scream and tears would be streaming down her face but not a sound. Then suddenly one day she opened her mouth and the whole hospital heard her. The ENT guy thinks the other vocal cord is moving more to compensate. We were told she would probably never run a marathon or anything, but I'm not so sure. Nothing, and I mean nothing, stops her. She's like a force of nature lol, never slows down.

Julie - posted on 08/31/2009

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My guy will be 18 months (15 corrected) in a few days. He has a paralyzed vocal cord, only his was likely secondary to his PDA ligation. He was also on a ventilator for about 6 weeks, but they don't think that was why. When he first started crying it was very quiet. In fact, the NICU nurses used to joke with him "you aren't going to wake anyone up at 3 am with a cry like that!" He has progressively gotten louder, but I still think he isn't as loud as other kids (but is that really a BAD thing?). Anyhow, he has been scoped (small camera up his nose) to see those cords. We thought he was getting better when he was getting louder, but his good cord was compensating--it was just closing the opening all by itself with no help from the paralyzed cord. Anyhow, he used to have major gagging issues (never with liquids, though), but they seem to be resolving (we've been to the feeding clinic and see an occupational and speech therapist). My guy also has quite a groove on his palate from the ventilator tube, and I think it weirds him out when food gets stuck there. Anyhow, his ENT doesn't think the paralyzed cord (she thinks it'd permanent) will cause him any long term problems (except for maybe volume of his voice) since he has compensated for it. I think she said they can heal up until about 2 years of age.



Has your daughter's vocal cords actually been visualized? It is a quick procedure, no sedation necessary. All you need is someone with a small enough scope. Getting a look, I think, is much better than guessing.



Sorry my guy's not much older than your LO, but I'm hoping some info is better than none.



Good luck!

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