• laryngeal cancer;
  • radiotherapy failure;
  • partial laryngectomy;
  • supracricoid laryngectomy



Radiotherapy is often chosen as the definitive treatment for early stage laryngeal carcinoma. Total laryngectomy is the main procedure for failures. Endoscopic treatment of recurrences by CO2 laser has found limited application. Partial laryngectomy through an external approach has been proposed as salvage surgery, and the vertical partial laryngectomy (VPL) is the most mentioned surgical technique in the literature, although there are, to date, very few reports regarding the use of the supracricoid partial laryngectomy (SCPL) as salvage surgery after radiation failure.


The aim of the study is to check the feasibility of SCPL with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy (CHEP) or cricohyoidopexy (CHP) in patients with laryngeal recurrence after radiation failure and to evaluate the oncologic results, morbidity, and functional outcome.


Fifteen consecutive patients were treated with salvage intent by SCPL from January 1992 to December 1998. CHEP and CHP were performed in 11 and 4 patients, respectively. Five patients underwent homolateral surgical neck dissection, and one underwent bilateral neck dissection. All patients had a temporary tracheostomy, and two patients required percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) to ensure feeding. Functional rehabilitation started 2 weeks after the operation.


The results have been evaluated in terms of oncologic outcome and functional preservation. Twelve patients are alive with a minimum follow-up of 36 months and 3 patients died after 36 days, 6 and 14 months after surgery, the first and second patient from heart failure and the third from lung metastasis. Respiratory function was recovered in all cases. Oral intake began 12 days after surgery, and in 14 cases satisfactory swallowing was recovered 30 days after surgery. An acceptable quality of the voice was achieved by most patients, and a high rate of local immediate complications was solved in all cases.


SCPL represents an effective technique as salvage treatment of laryngeal cancer after exclusive radiotherapy; there is a good functional recovery with acceptable morbidity and good oncologic long-term control. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 24: 759–765, 2002