Brachytherapy in combination with Nd:YAG laser therapy may add to the duration of survival of the palliative period when compared with laser alone. A retrospective study of patients with inoperable squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was undertaken to determine if there was a difference in survival between those patients treated with Nd:YAG laser alone and those treated with Nd:YAG laser and brachytherapy. Twenty-two patients were treated with brachytherapy for malignant airway disease at our institution of which 13 had SCC. All patients had previously received treatment with Nd:YAG laser for exophytic disease. Survival was compared with those patients treated with Nd:YAG laser alone for SCC involving the airway. There was no statistical difference between the two groups with regard to age. The duration of survival of patients with SCC of the airway from the first Nd:YAG laser treatment was determined. A significant difference between those patients treated with Nd:YAG laser alone and those patients treated with combined therapy was found (p < 0.001). Brachytherapy may potentiate the duration of survival in patients with SCC involving the airway compared to palliation with Nd:YAG laser alone.