Having a cancer of the larynx is not synonymous suffer a total laryngectomy. There are many cases where, for the location of the tumor, this can be removed without removing the entire larynx. To distinguish it from total laryngectomy, all this set of surgical techniques are called partial laryngectomy.
When partial laryngectomy is performed
The partial laryngectomy is performed in patients with cancer of the larynx but whose anatomical location allows remove part of the larynx, so that once it has passed the corresponding Postoperatively, the patient can breathe on their natural way without having a tracheal stoma or tracheostomy (surgery of the trachea).
Types of partial laryngectomy
In the specialty of Otolaryngology , there are several types of partial laryngectomy depending on the anatomical structures that are to be removed:
- Cordectomy: removal of the vocal cords.
- Fronto-lateral laryngectomy: removal of the vocal cords and the anterior third of the contralateral cord.
- Hemilaryngectomy: removal of the vocal cords, the thyroid wing and arytenoid cartilage.
- Supraglottic laryngectomy: removal of structures between a glottis and the base of the tongue.
- Reconstructive laryngectomy (cricohioidoepiglotoplexia): removal of the glottis (vocal cords), thyroid cartilage and optionally the epiglottis.
- Laryngectomy "three quarters" (total near): hemilaryngectomy added to supraglottic laryngectomy.
Postoperative partial laryngectomy
Postoperatively three important functions are distinguished:
- Breathing: Although some of the techniques may require a temporary tracheotomy, all I them, except near total laryngectomy be closed and the patient can breathe through natural means.
- Swallowing: is the most affected and the most difficult postoperative, especially where it has removed the epiglottis, as there is a risk of aspiration (passage of food into the airways).
- Phonation: in these techniques is the least altered function. The voice alteration is directly related to the removal of the vocal cords, so in the supraglottic laryngectomy, voice is normal because the vocal cords are harmless; in cordectomy, frontolateral laryngectomy and hemilaryngectomy, the voice will be weak, air, blown; finally, in other techniques, the voice is often poor and shoddy.