Issue N# 4 - 2004
Transit time of swallowing after subtotal laryngectomy
Authors : M. De Vincentiis, P. Calcagno, P. Di Cello, R. Mastronicola, M. Simonelli, G. Ruoppolo, P. Cerro, A. Gallo (Rome)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol. 2004;125,4:223-227.
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Introduction: The aim of subtotal laryngeal surgery (Cricohyoidopexy= CHP and Cricohyoidoepiglottopexy= CHEP) is to create a simplified but functional neolarynx. The neolarynx permits the passage of air, the closure of the airway, and ensures phonation through the vibration of the cricoid and arytenoid mucosa; furthermore, it allows the recovery of swallowing, optimizing the closure of the neoglottis with the movement of the remaining arytenoids. The aim of the present study was to evaluate, on a long term basis, the efficiency of the swallowing function comparing swallowing times in CHEP and CHP with and without functional neck dissection (FND). Materials and methods: A radiological study was conducted on 48 patients selected from a group of 253, who underwent subtotal laryngectomies at the “G. Ferreri” Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Audiology and Phoniatrics of the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. The selection of the 48 patients was carried out based on the following criteria: type of surgery, date of surgery (follow up of at least 12 months), patients who were not treated with radiotherapy before or after surgery, patients who were also examined with fibrolaryngoscopy and videofluoroscopy, patients not affected by motor deficits involving phonatory and swallowing regions (stroke, lesions of the central nervous system), negative follow up (no evidence of disease). The parameters for evaluating the functional recovery were the times the nasogastric tube and tracheotomy tube were kept in place. The functional recovery times of the groups thus formed were compared to one another. Through videofluoroscopy the authors evaluated oral transit times (OTT) and pharyngeal transit times (PTT) as parameters of deglutition. Results: The results consistently showed that swallowing time remains under one second as in individuals with normal swallowing functions. Conclusion: The study of deglutition times, conducted at least 12 months after surgery, does not show any substantial differences between CHEP and CHP with reference to pharyngeal transit and oral transit times.
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