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To evaluate the incidence of pharyngocutaneous fistula after pharyngolaryngectomy with and without a Montgomery salivary stent.
Retrospective analysis of patients with factors that predispose to the development of pharyngocutaneous fistula (i.e. disease extending to the supraglottic region, base of the tongue or pyriform sinuses, and/or radiochemotherapy).
Between 2002 and 2008, 85 pharyngolaryngectomies were performed in our clinic. Of these patients, 31 were at increased risk of fistula development, of whom 45 per cent developed fistulas post-operatively. This subgroup of 31 patients was compared with a second subgroup of 22 patients at high risk of fistula development, treated between 2009 and 2011 with pharyngolaryngectomy and with a Montgomery salivary stent placed in advance during closure of the neopharynx.
Statistical analysis showed a significant reduction in the rate of fistula development, from 45 to 9 per cent (p < 0.01), with application of the salivary stent.
These data confirm the preventive effect of a salivary stent placed during pharyngolaryngectomy, for patients at high risk of fistula development.
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