Stapler-Assisted Pharyngeal Closure After Total Laryngectomy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Oncol Ther. 2022 Jun;10(1):241-252. doi: 10.1007/s40487-022-00193-5. Epub 2022 Mar 31.


Introduction: Pharyngocutaneous fistula (PCF) remains the most frequent complication following total laryngectomy (TL). Pharyngeal closure with a surgical stapler (SAPC) has been proposed as an effective closure technique that decreases the rate of PCF, reduces surgical time, decreases the length of hospital stay, and shortens the time required before safely initiating oral feeding.

Methods: This study involved a systematic review and meta-analysis of patients with laryngeal cancer who underwent TL and with subsequent stapler pharyngeal closure, in order to analyse the current literature regarding the role of SAPC after TL.

Results: The incidence of PCF in the stapler-assisted suture group (SASG) was 9.5% (95% CI 8.2-15.9%), with a mean absolute deviation of 1.12, while in the hand-suture group (HSG) group the incidence was 23.4% (95% CI 23-26.1%), with a mean absolute deviation of 5.71 (p = 0.01).

Conclusions: SAPC may decrease the risk of PCF in patients following TL. Based on the current data, SAPC appears to shorten the surgical time and the length of hospital stay. Nevertheless, prospective randomized trials are required to validate these findings.

Keywords: Pharyngocutaneous Fistula; Surgical Stapler; Total Laryngectomy.