Hospital da Luz Physician Presents in USA Experience in a Rare Case of Laryngology

Sara Viana Batista, otorhinolaryngologist and responsible for the consultation of voice pathology at Hospital da Luz Lisboa, was an invited speaker in a conference on complex cases of laryngology, organized by Mayo Clinic education school, in the United States. Hospital da Luz specialist presented a paper on surgery for puberphonia correction in adult men, with local anaesthesia, a quite rare surgery, that in Portugal is only performed in this Grupo Luz Saúde unit.

Puberphonia, also designated persistent falsetto or mutational refractory falsetto, affects solely male individuals (very low incidence, estimated in 1:900.000) and consists in the persistence of adolescent voice after puberty. In addition, patients suffer from deriving problems, mostly at social and professional relations level, leading to depression states and, sometimes, to suicide attempts. Through surgery – Isshiki type 3 thyroplasty –, the specialist seeks to reduce the fundamental frequency of voice and reach a low-pitched and more masculine tone, reducing tension on vocal cords.

On 19 June 2015, at Hospital da Luz Lisboa, Sara Viana Batista performed the first surgery of the kind in Portugal, on a 39-years-old male patient. In March 2018, and also successfully, the specialist did a second intervention, this time on a young 19-years-old patient. In order to intraoperatively control vocal quality, these surgeries were done with local anaesthesia and sedation, to allow the patient to talk during the process of shortening the vocal cords.

The conference “Southwest Laryngology Meeting: focus on complex cases 2018”, organized by Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, took place in Phoenix, between 13 and 14 April.

Sara Viana Batista integrated the panel of invited specialists, most of them from other renowned North American centres, such as John Hopkins, Massachusetts General Hospital and Cleveland Clinic. The Portuguese physician also practices at Hospital da Luz units of Oeiras and Amadora.