Hospital da Luz performs pioneering surgery in Portugal to deal with 'persistent falsetto'

The Hospital da Luz Otorhinolaryngology Department successfully carried out an Isshiki type III thyroplasty for the first time in Portugal - a rare surgical procedure used to correct a problem of the vocal cords known as 'persistent falsetto' or puberphonia.

The surgery was performed by Hospital da Luz specialists Sara Viana Baptista and João Olias on 19th June, using local anesthetic and sedation to allow perioperative control of the vocal quality of the patient, a man aged 35.

'Persistent falsetto' or puberphonia is a rare condition which affects just one in every 900,000 people, and is defined as the persistence of an adolescent voice after puberty. Surgery is only resorted to when all non-invasive therapeutic alternatives have been exhausted and the existence of an underlying organic pathology is excluded. Male patients with puberphonia often suffer from social isolation and depression, and cases of attempted suicide have even been reported.

Comparison of preoperative and postoperative vocal results from tests done on the patient led Hospital da Luz staff to report the total success of this pioneering surgery in Portugal, with the patient released a week after the intervention.