Functional laryngectomy for the dysfunctional larynx: indications and outcomes in setting of prior chemoradiotherapy

Lindsay Olinde, Lisa Evangelista, Arnaud F. Bewley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review the recent literature on indications for and functional outcomes following laryngectomy for severe laryngeal dysfunction. RECENT FINDINGS: The use of functional laryngectomy as a definitive treatment for severe laryngeal dysfunction is increasing as more patients with head and neck cancer are treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy. Data are emerging on the efficacy of this technique as measured by aspiration, recurrent pneumonias, enteral tube feeding dependence, and surgical complication rates. Though most patients have marked improvement in aspiration and oral intake, difficulties in swallowing and voicing functions may persist. SUMMARY: Functional laryngectomy is an effective treatment for end-stage laryngeal dysfunction. There is a clear benefit with regard to prevention of aspiration and alleviation of nothing by mouth status. However, qualitative speech and swallowing outcomes are less well studied, though available data suggest that many patients still suffer some degree of continued chronic impairment. More research is needed on these outcomes in order to appropriately counsel patients regarding long-term functional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-478
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in otolaryngology & head and neck surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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