Although unilateral vocal fold palsy (UVFP) is a common problem, data relating to swallowing dysfunction are sparse. We reviewed the clinical findings (method of presentation, underlying diagnosis and position of the vocal folds) of 30 patients and conducted a follow-up telephone survey. Outcome measures used were direct visualization of fold function, position and compensation. In addition, standardized speech and language assessments for swallowing dysfunction and dysphonia were noted and compared to presentation. Our study indicates that 56 per cent of patients with UVFP have associated dysphagia. Outcome with speech therapy is significant, with 73 per cent showing improvement. These data indicate a significant link between UVFP and swallowing dysfunction. There is a marked therapeutic benefit from voice therapy. Further work is required to evaluate the long-term outcomes and establish the mechanism of swallowing dysfunction in these patients.