Introduction and objectives: Endoscopic CO2 laser supraglottic laryngectomy has similar oncological results to the classical open approach. Treatment of the neck is of paramount importance in these tumours and it is usually performed as a staged procedure. The aim of this work is to ascertain if it is safe to perform the neck dissections at the same time as the laser supraglottic laryngectomy.
Methods: Twenty-four patients with supraglottic epidermoid carcinoma, who underwent laser CO2 supraglottic laryngectomy and bilateral neck dissection, were studied. In 12 patients the neck dissections were performed as a staged procedure (a mean of 15 days after the laryngectomy), and in the remaining 12 they were performed simultaneously. Both groups were comparable in terms of age and the staging of their tumours.
Results: No significant differences were found between the groups in terms of surgical complications (P=.18), tracheostomy rates (1 post-operative tracheostomy in each group; P=.99), aspiration pneumonia (P=.48), and the mean for nasogastric tube feeding (P=.36). The mean hospital stay was five days longer in the group with staged neck dissections.
Conclusions: It is a safe procedure to perform neck dissections at the same time as the supraglottic laryngectomy. We did not find any increase in the complications rate and the hospital stay was shorter.