What to Expect After a Botox Injection to the Larynx

  • Reference Number: HEY-641/2015
  • Departments: ENT, Speech and Language


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information on your treatment.  Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion.  If after reading it you have any concerns or require any further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team caring for you.

What is Botox and how will it help me?

Botulinum Neurotoxin (Botox for short) is a biological toxin that has been found to inhibit the normal chemical messages that are sent from nerve endings to the muscle fibres throughout the body. In the case of spasmodic dysphonia, only the muscles that open and close the vocal cords are involved.

The procedure

The procedure is done under local anaesthetic injection. A needle is then inserted into a soft area of the voice box and Botox injected into both vocal cords. The procedure takes only a few minutes. A monitor with electrodes placed next to you will guide the injection.

Symptoms post injection

You may experience minor swallowing difficulties for several days after injection. This will be the result of the injected toxin, which temporarily weakens the movement of the injected vocal cord so that it does not spasm as much when you speak.

Important: Please see your GP immediately if you develop a persistent cough or chest infection. This could be because some food or drink may be passing into your windpipe instead of your food gullet as you swallow. Your GP could prescribe a fluid thickening agent to help with this if required.

If you are having major problems swallowing food and drink, please contact the Speech and Language Therapy Department at Hull Royal Infirmary (01482) 604331 for advice during normal working hours on week days. Outside week day hours, or on week-ends please present to the Emergency Department at Hull Royal Infirmary.

If leaving an answer phone message with Speech and Language Therapy: please clearly state your name, telephone number and comment that you are a voice patient seeking advice about swallowing post Botox injection.

Soft Diet

This can consist of foods such as mashed potato, casseroled or tender chunks of meat, processed sliced cooked meats (ham, chicken, etc), bread, rice, yoghurts, puddings, etc. Avoid hard foods such as toast, chips, cracker biscuits or large pieces of meat and combination foods (both liquid and solid in content) such as cereal with milk, (try yoghurt instead) and tinned fruits, unless using a thickener.

You can return to normal eating as soon as you feel confident to do so. This only takes a few days usually.

Consultant ENT Surgeon (Voice)
Specialist Speech and Language Therapists (Voice)

Should you require any further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the following departments:
ENT Outpatients, Castle Hill Hospital, Castle Road, Cottingham, HU16 5JQ. Tel: (01482) 604701
Speech and Language Therapy Department, Therapies Centre, Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Hull, HU3 2JZ. Tel: (01482) 604331

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.