Esophageal lesions after total laryngectomy.
Clinical and endoscopic evaluation of the post-total laryngectomy patient with dysphagia may be limited by postoperative fibrosis or strictures. The barium esophagogram is a valuable adjunctive tool in further assessing these patients, as both functional and anatomic abnormalities can be evaluated. A 10-year retrospective review yielded 204 patients who had had total laryngectomies for squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx; 85 of these patients had postoperative barium esophagograms. Dysphagia was the chief complaint in 73 of these 85 patients. The studies were reviewed for anatomic abnormalities of the surgically deformed pharynx (neopharynx) and the esophagus distal to it. While most patients (51%) with dysphagia had abnormalities in the neopharynx, 17 (23%) had abnormalities distal to the neopharynx; these included four esophageal carcinomas and 13 benign esophageal strictures. These results emphasize the importance of evaluating the entire esophagus and maintaining a high index of suspicion for distal esophageal disease in the total laryngectomy patient with dysphagia.
Gibbons, RG; Halvorsen, RA; Foster, WL; Warner, D; Roberts, L; Postlethwait, RW; Thompson, WM
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