Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

FDA Approves Hopkins-Designed Implants To Restore Lost Voices

Date:
June 10, 1998
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Johns Hopkins physicians have designed a series of implants that restore bulk to weakened vocal cords, returning the power of speech to those who have lost their voices from paralysis associated with throat cancers, strokes or other conditions. The patented implants were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in early spring.

Johns Hopkins physicians have designed a series of implants that restore bulk to weakened vocal cords, returning the power of speech to those who have lost their voices from paralysis associated with throat cancers, strokes or other conditions. The patented implants were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in early spring.

The implants, shaped like the heads of tiny hammers, are made of hydroxylapatite, a chalk-like substance that melds into the body's tissue over time. Available in five sizes, the devices add volume to a weakened vocal cord, pushing it to the center of the voice box so it can meet its counterpart and produce sound.

Patients can lose the ability to speak when the nerve supply that normally pushes the cords together is lost. This condition affects about 5,000 to 10,000 people each year and can follow stroke or traumatic injury. It also can arise without an identifiable cause, says Charles W. Cummings, M.D., professor and chairman of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. There are more serious complications, too.

"People who can't close their vocal folds cannot project their voices or trap air effectively, which makes it difficult to exercise or even walk upstairs," he says. "There is also a danger of choking on food, as the folds that normally protect the voice box can't close."

During a half-hour surgical procedure using local anesthesia, physicians drill a small hole in the side of the neck, creating about an inch-size opening in the thyroid cartilage to reach the vocal cord. Using specially designed instruments, they insert "sizers," or dummy devices of varying sizes and ask the patients to speak. When the patient recognizes his or her "correct" voice, the physicians remove the sizer and replace it with a same-size implant, locking it in place with a small shim of the same material.

"There's no greater thrill for both the patient and the doctor than to hear the patient speak again in his or her natural voice," Cummings says. "Patients can talk immediately following the surgery, but it may take up to six weeks for them to gain optimal pitch range."

Cummings and his colleague, Paul W. Flint, M.D., have used similar implants for about 10 years. Before the FDA's approval of their design, Cummings and Flint had to hand-carve an implant for each patient using sialastic, a less sturdy material. Having the pre-cut hydroxylapatite implants has cut their operating room time in half and helped reduce post-operative swelling.

Cummings and Flint perform about 80 of the procedures each year.

--JHMI--

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions' news releases are available on a PRE-EMBARGOED basis on EurekAlert at http://www.eurekalert.org, Newswise at http://www.newswise.com and from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs' direct e-mail news release service. To enroll, call 410-955-4288 or send e-mail to bsimpkin@welchlink.welch.jhu.edu or 76520.560@compuserve.com.

On a POST-EMBARGOED basis find them at http://hopkins.med.jhu.edu, Quadnet at http://www.quad-net.com, ScienceDaily at http://www.sciencedaily.com or on CompuServe in the SciNews-MedNews library of the Journalism Forum under file extension ".jhm".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "FDA Approves Hopkins-Designed Implants To Restore Lost Voices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980610082620.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (1998, June 10). FDA Approves Hopkins-Designed Implants To Restore Lost Voices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980610082620.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "FDA Approves Hopkins-Designed Implants To Restore Lost Voices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980610082620.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins