Air-wasting dysphonia is a kind of hoarseness that refers to the breathiness (see breathy dysphonia) that one is hearing. Typically, the length of time a person can sustain voice without taking a new breath (maximum phonation time) is decreased. The voice may be described as whispery or foggy or fuzzy. Among other things, possible causes include vocal fold paralysis or paresis, vocal fold bowing and atrophy, or functional (especially nonorganic) voice problems.

Injection Laryngoplasty with Temporary Gel

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Laryngoplasty (1 of 4)

This person awakened with a weak, whispery voice after emergency abdominal surgery. Now 3+ months later, voice is returning by degrees but is still very weak. In this photo, the patient is breathing quietly. The weak left vocal cord is more bowed than the right.

Reason for air-wasting (2 of 4)

When she tries to produce voice, the left vocal cord comes only part of the way to the midline, leaving a large gap, and explaining her whispery air-wasting voice quality.

Voice gel injected into vocal cord (3 of 4)

On the same day, due to pressing patient need, the left vocal cord was “plumped” with voice gel. That material typically provides temporary benefit of 6 to 12 weeks, gradually absorbing during that time.

Vocal cords close completely (4 of 4)

Voice is dramatically improved, now that her vocal cords can more fully close to reduce the air-wasting and transform the voice from whispery to strong. Compare with photo 2.