Endoscopic supraglottic laryngectomy: a proposal for a classification by the working committee on nomenclature, European Laryngological Society

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Jul;266(7):993-8. doi: 10.1007/s00405-008-0901-8. Epub 2009 Jan 8.


In July 1999, the European Laryngological Society (ELS) has accepted a proposal for the classification of different laryngeal endoscopic cordectomies. This is actually a common classification system used as a tool for surgical training, documentation and comparison of results. The same harmonization work is deemed necessary for the treatment of supraglottic lesions. The ELS is proposing a classification of the different laryngeal endoscopic supraglottic partial laryngectomies. This classification comprises four types of supraglottic laryngectomies: Type I, limited excision of small size superficial lesions of the free edge of the epiglottis, the ary-epiglottic fold, the arytenoid, or the ventricular fold or any other part of the supraglottis; Type II, medial supraglottic laryngectomy without resection of the pre-epiglottic space, suitable for T1 lesions of either the suprahyoid or the infrahyoid laryngeal surface of the epiglottis (Type IIa, superior hemi-epiglottectomy or Type IIb, total epiglottectomy, respectively); Type III, medial supraglottic laryngectomy with resection of the pre-epiglottic space, suitable for T1-T2 tumors of the infrahyoid endolaryngeal epiglottis without (Type IIIa) or with (Type IIIb) extension to the ventricular fold, necessitating its excision; finally, Type IV, lateral supraglottic laryngectomy, suitable for tumors of the threefolds' region, which may include the ventricular fold (Type IVa) or the arytenoid (Type IVb), when involved. As in the cases of endoscopic cordectomies, these operations are similarly classified according to the surgical approach used and the degree of resection completed in order to facilitate their use in daily clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Endoscopy
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Laryngectomy / classification*
  • Laryngectomy / methods