Plastic and reconstructive surgery vol:104 issue:6 pages:1635-41
The current surgical treatment for unilateral, advanced glottic cancer is a total laryngectomy. Usually, the noninvolved hemilarynx needs resection because the resulting laryngeal defect cannot be reconstructed after adequate tumor resection. Experimental findings suggest that segments of autologous trachea may restore extended laryngeal defects. The authors used tracheal transplantation to save laryngeal function after the removal of advanced glottic cancer. In this case series review, 10 patients were treated during a 1.5-year period, with an average follow-up of 8 months. Evaluated factors included survival of the tracheal transplant and functional outcome with regard to the onset and quality of the airway, speech, and deglutition. The authors showed that segments of cervical trachea may restore extended laryngeal defects after initial revascularization by a radial forearm fascial flap. The fascial flap served as a vascular carrier for the transplanted trachea. Follow-up showed the stability of the reconstruction. Compared with a total laryngectomy, a striking improvement in patient comfort and function was noticed. Transplantation of the trachea is a technique that may save laryngeal function after the treatment of advanced-stage glottic cancer. These findings may improve laryngeal preservation strategies in treating laryngeal cancer.