Endoscopic cancer surgery is designed to treat early stage laryngeal cancers in lieu of radiation or as salvage therapy following failure of radiation therapy. It has the advantage of comparable cure rates with equal or better quality vocal outcomes
. More importantly, if radiation has not been used previously, it provides radiation as a possible future treatment option while saving the patient the risks of radiation during the initial cancer treatment
. Patients also enjoy the benefit of generally one operative procedure versus six weeks of daily radiotherapy.
The procedure is performed entirely via the mouth bypassing the need for a neck incision. A metal tube placed in the mouth to push the tongue out of the way for optimal visualization of the vocal folds.
Using a microscope under high magnification, the vocal folds are carefully examined to identify the full extent of the disease.
An infusion of saline may be used to determine the degree of tumor involvement and to maximally preserve the gel-like layer of the vocal fold (superficial lamina propria).
A biopsy is then obtained if it has not been performed previously. The tumor is then treated with cold knife or with the green light KTP laser to treat all of the disease down to the interface with normal tissue. Patients can generally return home the same day as the procedure.
The objective is to preserve the maximal amount of nondiseased vocal fold to obtain the best vocal outcome while removing all of the cancer. At times, the procedure may be staged to involve one or more procedures depending on the complexity of the tumor. Careful surveillance is required following the procedure due to the risk of cancer recurrence, which is common to all treatment types. If a recurrence should recur, our practice can offer various types of open procedures to adequately treat recurrent disease.
The information contained on this website is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose and/or dictate treatment for any disease process. Please consult your physician for management tailored to your specific condition.