Predictors of Stricture and Swallowing Function Following Salvage Laryngectomy

Ari D. Schuman, Andrew C. Birkeland, Janice L. Farlow, Teresa Lyden, Anna Blakely, Matthew E. Spector, Andrew J. Rosko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Long-term functional outcomes are poorly characterized for salvage laryngectomy. We identified predictors of esophageal stricture and swallowing function after salvage laryngectomy in a large cohort. Methods: A retrospective study of 233 patients who underwent salvage total laryngectomy for recurrent/persistent squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx or hypopharynx after radiation (XRT) or chemoradiation (CRT) was performed. Primary outcomes were esophageal dilation within 1 year, time to dilation, and gastrostomy tube dependence. Multivariate logistic and Cox regressions were used for statistical analysis. Results: Dilation was performed in 29.9% of patients. Dilation was twice as likely in patients with post-operative fistula compared to those without (Hazard Ratio (HR) 2.10, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.06–4.13, P =.03). Every year between XRT/CRT and salvage was associated with 10% increase in dilation (HR 1.09, 95% CI 1.03–1.17, P =.01). No factors were associated with dilation by 1 year. About 10% of patients were at least partially gastrostomy tube-dependent 1 year post-operatively. At last follow-up (median 29 months), this rate was 13%. Patients with supraglottic recurrence had an increased risk of gastrostomy tube dependence at 1 year compared to glottic (OR 16.7, 95% CI 1.73–160, P =.02). For every 10 pack years pre-salvage, the OR of requiring tube feeds at last follow-up was 1.24 (95% CI 1.04–1.48, P =.02). Conclusions: Fistula and pre-salvage smoking were associated with stricture post-salvage laryngectomy. No factors were associated with dilation by 1 year. Supraglottic recurrence and smoking were associated with gastrostomy tube dependence. These findings are important for pre-operative counseling prior to salvage laryngectomy. Level of Evidence: Level 4. Laryngoscope, 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Head and neck cancer
  • larynx cancer
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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