Near total laryngectomy: the problems influencing functions and their solutions

Cakli H., Ozudogru E., Cingi E., Kecik C., Gurbuz K.

EUROPEAN ARCHIVES OF OTO-RHINO-LARYNGOLOGY, vol.262, no.2, pp.99-102, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


We investigated the problems affecting functional outcomes of near-total laryngectomy and their solutions. A retrospective analysis about complications (i.e., aspiration, pharyngocutenous fistula, shunt stenosis, etc.) that affect postoperative functions was made by using the medical records of 23 male patients (mean age: 56.6, range: 35 to 72 years) who underwent near total laryngectomy. Maximal phonation times of 17 patients and fundamental frequencies of 10 patients were measured and compared with control groups consisting of sex- and age-matched normal laryngeal speakers. Pharyngocutenous fistula occurred in five cases and closed by secondary wound healing. The incidence of aspiration was 42%. Shunt stenosis wasn't observed in our cases, but loss of phonation occurred because of tumor recurrence at the neoglottal region in the 1st postoperative year of one patient. All patients were able to produce voice, and communicable speech was achieved by 19 (82.6%). Measurements of maximal phonation time indicated a significant decrease in the NTL group. The increase in fundamental frequency values of the near total laryngectomy group was also found significant in relation to the control group. After careful patient selection, extreme effort should be made to create a dynamic shunt and complete mucosal covering of the inner surface of the shunt in near total laryngectomy, thus not only producing voice without aspiration or shunt stenosis, but also providing oncologic safety in the patients with sufficient vital capacity.