Voice Quality After Laser Surgery or Radiotherapy for T1a Glottic Carcinoma



Objective To compare the effect on phonation of radiotherapy and endoscopic laser surgery for stage T1a glottic squamous cell carcinoma.

Study Design Retrospective.

Methods Patients treated for stage T1a glottic carcinoma from August 1994 to March 2000 and who had been followed for at least 1 year were candidates. Eight patients who underwent radiotherapy and 22 who underwent laser surgery were enrolled. Indirect laryngoscopy and stroboscopic examination were performed, and voice quality was analyzed using standard parameters.

Results Maximum phonation time, average airflow rate, sound pressure level, and average fundamental frequency during unconditional phonation were similar after laser surgery and radiotherapy. However, compared with normal men who were 50 years of age or older, the average fundamental frequency was higher after laser surgery.

Conclusions Contrary to some reports, the voice quality is minimally affected by laser surgery for T1a glottic carcinoma, and outcome is similar to radiotherapy. The average fundamental frequency is higher than normal after laser surgery, but the effect on the quality of life was trivial.