There is a variety of upper respiratory surgeries performed in the equine athlete. Common conditions include:
• Laryngeal hemiplegia found in “roarers” is due to a paralysis of the muscle that moves and abducts the (most commonly affected) left arytenoid cartilage in the horse’s larynx. This disease requires a tie-back surgery which is often also combined with laser procedures within the larynx to further reduce the abnormal noise.
• Dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP) which is typically addressed using a surgical tie-forward procedure.
• Arytenoid chondritis is a condition that causes focal or more generalized swelling of the arytenoid cartilage (also known as “flapper”) in the larynx and is treated either by focal laser therapy or resection of the arytenoid cartilage.
• Epiglottic entrapment is another relatively uncommon cause of respiratory noise and exercise intolerance
• There are other rarer conditions such as guttural pouch diseases and subepiglottic cysts that are commonly addressed using surgical surgical procedures.