Effect of total laryngectomy on esophageal motility.
Total laryngectomy for cancer can result in dysphagia and altered esophageal motility. Manometric changes in the upper esophageal sphincter (UES), and in proximal and distal esophageal function have been reported. However, most studies have failed to take into account radiation therapy and appropriate controls. We selected ten male patients (54.3 +/- 1.9 yr) for longitudinal manometric evaluation prior to laryngectomy then at two weeks and again six months later. No patient received preoperative radiation therapy, had a previous history of esophageal surgery, or developed a postoperative wound infection or fistula. Seven of ten patients had positive nodes and received 6,000-6,600 rads postoperative radiation therapy. Preoperatively 4 of 10 patients complained of dysphagia which did not significantly change following surgery and radiation. Two of three patients who did not complain of dysphagia preoperatively and received radiation postoperatively developed dysphagia. No patient without dysphagia preoperatively who received no radiation therapy developed symptoms. Our studies show that laryngectomy causes alterations in the UES resting and peak pressures but not in the proximal or distal esophagus, or the lower esophageal sphincter. These data also imply radiation therapy may be associated with progressive alterations in motility and symptomatology. Further study regarding the effects of radiation on esophageal motility and function are urged.
Hanks, JB; Fisher, SR; Meyers, WC; Christian, KC; Postlethwait, RW; Jones, RS
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