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J Cancer Res Ther. 2005 Jan-Mar;1(1):51-6.

A prospective study of pharyngocutaneous fistulas following total laryngectomy.

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Department of Surgery, Head and Neck Surgical Service, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India.


Pharyngocutaneous (PC) fistula is a common complication following laryngectomy. It leads to increased morbidity, delay in adjuvant treatment, prolonged hospitalization and an increase in treatment costs. Although a number of factors that result in PC fistula have been described, there is still no agreement on the most significant factors. We undertook a prospective study to critically analyze PC fistula and its association with various tumors, patient and treatment related factors. This was a prospective study that included 143 patients who underwent laryngeal surgery for squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx and pyriform sinus. Use of pectoralis major myocutaneous flap to reconstruct the neopharynx, primary disease in pyriform and extensive soft tissue infiltration were significantly associated with PC fistula. Prior treatment (radiotherapy and chemotherapy), type of closure (T closure, Y closure and vertical closure), Layers of closure (full thickness interrupted, submucosal interrupted, submucosal continuous) type of suture material (silk, vicryl ), age, sex, stage, preoperative tracheostomy, cut margin status, pre/postoperative hemoglobin and experience of surgeons did not relate significantly.

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