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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1992 Feb;101(2 Pt 1):113-8.

Laser surgery for the treatment of larynx carcinomas: indications, techniques, and preliminary results.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Cologne, Germany.


The authors have developed four different types of endolaryngeal laser resections for the treatment of larynx carcinomas. These new techniques are based on traditional concepts employed in partial larynx resections. From 1986 onward, 110 patients with laryngeal cancers were treated by endoscopic laser surgery. One hundred six patients were operated on for cure and 4 for palliation. In 9 cases of T3 tumor, complete removal of the tumor was not possible, requiring total laryngectomy. In all T2 cancers of the glottis and subglottis (n = 36), a total resection was possible. Additional staged neck dissection was performed in 16 cases, and postoperative radiotherapy in 10 cases. Follow-up investigations of the patients treated for cure (n = 106) cover a period of 3 to 42 months (mean, 22 months). These revealed 6 recurrences in the larynx, which were treated by laryngectomy. Recurrences in the cervical nodes were seen in 2 patients following resection of a supraglottic tumor and a subglottic tumor, respectively. Seven patients could not be followed up, 4 patients died of intercurrent disease, and 87 patients are alive and free of tumor. At present the number of recurrences and the rate of survival show no significant difference from those previously reported after conventional surgery. The phonatory function is not always predictable and still remains to be investigated. The authors believe that laser surgery may obviate the need for total laryngectomies in selected cases of laryngeal cancer, especially in T2 tumors. However, T3 tumors should not be treated by endolaryngeal laser surgery.

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