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This study aimed to evaluate voice and quality of life after transoral laser resection of early glottic carcinoma.
We studied 19 patients undergoing transoral laser resection of tumour stage (T) one or T2 glottic carcinoma. Laryngeal function was evaluated by video-stroboscopy, vocal function by the Voice Symptom Scale, the grade-roughness-breathiness-asthenia-strain scale and objective phoniatric assessment, and quality of life by the University of Washington Quality of Life questionnaire.
Patients’ glottic carcinoma tumour-node-metastasis (TNM) staging was T1 N0 M0 in 14 patients and T2 N0 M0 in five. Overall voice grade, roughness and breathiness were mild to moderate in 84 per cent; asthenia and voice strain were more uniformly distributed, with 15 per cent of patients having normal voice quality. Eight patients developed a glottic web post-operatively; anterior commissure web was significantly associated with worse voice grade (p = 0.05). Seven patients (47 per cent) had a ‘mucosal wave’ on the operated vocal fold; this was significantly associated with less strain on phonation (p = 0.05). Voice Symptom Scale score was low overall (15 patients (78.9 per cent) scored less than 30). The fundamental frequency and frequency irregularity were normal in nine patients (47.3 per cent); the closed quotient was normal in six (31.5 per cent). The averaged quality of life score was ≥90 in 14 patients (73.7 per cent); 18 (94.7 per cent) felt their health-related quality of life was either the same or better post-operatively; and overall quality of life was positive in all.
Transoral laser resection of T1 and T2 glottic carcinoma enables adequate tumour tissue excision with preservation of acceptable vocal function. Most patients’ post-operative quality of life is very good. Anterior commissure web formation is associated with poorer vocal function.
Although modern endoscopic laser techniques aim to avoid a permanent tracheostomy by augmenting the glottic aperture in cases of bilateral vocal fold palsy, loss of tissue from the posterior glottis risks compromising voice quality and swallowing function. The objective of this study was to describe our experience with bilateral transverse posterior cordotomy.
This was a retrospective analysis of functional outcomes in a series of consecutive patients undergoing a simple modification of the classical laser cordectomy procedure, which avoids tissue loss. The procedure was confined to the complete release of the vocal ligament from the arytenoid cartilage on both sides, while avoiding any significant loss of mucosa or cartilage.
Post-operative voice quality and quality of life were rated as good by most patients, which makes bilateral transverse cordotomy an attractive treatment option for bilateral vocal fold paralysis.
Bilateral transverse cordotomy is a reliable treatment option for patients with bilateral vocal fold paralysis, and aims to avoid the morbidity associated with a permanent tracheostomy.
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