Subtotal Laryngectomy With Tracheohyoidopexy: A Possible Alternative to Total Laryngectomy



Objective: The objective of this study was to describe a new subtotal laryngectomy technique that foresees two variations: 1) tracheohyoidopexy (THIP + A or A-A)—subtotal removal of the larynx maintaining one or two cricoarytenoid units and subsequent tracheohyoidopexy; and 2) tracheohyoidoepiglottopexy (THIEP + A or A-A)—resection guarantees preservation of the suprahyoid epiglottis maintaining one or two cricoarytenoid units and further suspension of the tracheal stump at the epiglottis and hyoid bone.

Methods: The technique is described, step by step, extending laryngeal resection beyond the limits adopted for supracricoid subtotal laryngectomy (SSL). Unlike SSL, tracheohyoidopexy allows glottic tumors with subglottic extension (T2–T3) to be treated, not only laryngeal tumors with invasion of one cricoarytenoid joint (T3), but also locally advanced laryngeal tumors with anterior extension through the thyroid cartilage (T4).

Results: A total of 30 operations have been performed: 22 THIEP and eight THIP. In one case, total laryngectomy was necessary 16 days postoperatively as a result of a large pharyngostoma. One month after the operation, all patients were able to tolerate a soft diet. Tracheostomy was removed within 43 postoperative days only in 26 cases. Phonatory results are comparable to those obtained with supracricoid laryngectomy. No definite oncologic conclusions can be drawn, at present, as a result of the short follow-up period.

Conclusions: Tracheohyoidopexy is a supracricoid laryngectomy extended toward the cricoid, which, like total laryngectomy, focuses on radical resection of T and N. Functional results are similar to those obtained with SSL; it is mandatory to maintain one functioning cricoarytenoid unit and a wide pyriform sinus.