I had Adductor Spasmodic Dysphonia (AD-SD) and underwent the Selective Laryngeal Adductor Denervation - Reinnervation (SLAD-R or "De-Re") procedure at UCLA Medical Center in Feb 2011. It was performed by Dr. Berke and his team. This surgical journal blog charts my experience starting from a few days before surgery and through my ongoing recovery.
Well, one month down, and I’m not sure how many more to go. Dr. Long says to expect my voice to return four to seven months after the procedure. The NSDA website that describes the procedure says two to four. I’m hoping that Dr. Long is just being conservative. But only time will tell.
If I speak a lot with my breathy voice, I can still feel a little lightheaded. This can be avoided by simply whispering instead of trying to force out my weak voice. But I prefer having a little voice over having no voice. I made a recording a few days ago of the same passage about China that I read pre-op, and here it is:
You can hear that I don’t have any spasms anymore, but I also don’t have much voice. Obviously not a trade I would make if it were to be permanent. But it’s not, and I look forward to posting another voice clip when my voice finally does return.
The scar should fade over time.
While the scar is easy to see if you’re looking for it, it’s not highly visible, and as long as I protect it from harsh sunlight, it should disappear over time. I can move my neck left and right without any problems. Looking up, my neck feels a bit tight, as if the skin is being stretched a little. I expect that this will abate with time.Fluids are easier to drink, but I’m still being careful. I’m not as tired anymore and have been putting in full days at work.
I’m trying to spend more time in my office, and less time out with colleagues, partners and customers. It’s not a lot of fun avoiding speaking situations, but I’m getting through it.