LPR healing time+diagnosis at voice doc

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Hey Dr,

I went to the voice doctor way back in October and was diagnosed with reflux. I was not given a prescription but instead was given an info sheet on diet changes etc.

Anyways, through some more deduction I came to the conclusion that I specifically had LPR, and I tried various treatment options with moderate success. It wasn't until this summer that I finally found a treatment that seems to block the reflux, so now my larynx can properly heal.

I've heard that LPR often takes a long time to heal, like close to a year or at the very least multiple months. Is this true? It's just that as a singer it's frustrating that it seems like I haven't regained any of my lost range etc and I guess I want some reassurance that I'm most likely healing and eventually I'll be back to 100%.

Also, according to my diagnosis form he gave me the primary diagnosis is listed as "slight gap" and the secondary diagnosis is "?PABRLN TA subtle". Is this anything I should know or be concerned about? I'd imagine it's not since he didn't mention any of it but for all I know he didn't think these diagnoses could be causing my trouble but maybe I didn't tell one of the nitty gritty or small details which would have been key.


James P Thomas MD's picture
Submitted by James P Thomas MD on Tue, 2014-09-30 15:02

The translation for PABRLN TA subtle would likely be Paralysis Anterior Branch Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve -  ThyroArytenoid muscle.  You should feel free to ask your physician for the actual translation. Although what it probably means is that one of your vocal cords is a bit thinner and less tense than the other one. The main substance of a vocal cord is the thyroarytenoid muscle and if there is a neurologic injury, they will typically be some atrophy or wasting of that muscle.

I happen to be rather skeptical about reflux as a diagnosis for hoarseness since I'm not aware of any conclusive study showing how reflux can alter vocal cord vibration. Ultimately if you're hoarse, there is a mechanical explanation for the alteration in vibration of your vocal cords.

Best wishes for your vocal care.