Speech and swallowing outcomes after laryngectomy for the dysfunctional irradiated larynx

Janice L. Farlow, Andrew C. Birkeland, Anna Hardenbergh, Teresa Lyden, J. Chad Brenner, Andrew G. Shuman, Steven B. Chinn, Chaz L. Stucken, Kelly M. Malloy, Jeffrey S. Moyer, Keith A. Casper, Mark E.P. Prince, Carol R. Bradford, Gregory T. Wolf, Douglas B. Chepeha, Andrew J. Rosko, Matthew E. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To characterize outcomes of total laryngectomy for the dysfunctional larynx after radiation. Methods: Retrospective case series of all subjects who underwent total laryngectomy for the irradiated dysfunctional larynx between 2000 and 2018 at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center at a single tertiary care academic medical center. Main outcomes included enteral tube feeding dependency, functional tracheoesophageal speech, and number and timing of postoperative pharyngeal dilations. Results: Median time from radiation to laryngectomy was 2.8 years (range 0.5–27 years). Functional outcomes were analyzed for the 32 patients with 1-year follow-up. Preoperatively, 81% required at least partial enteral tube feeding, as compared to 34% 1-year postoperatively (p = 0.0003). At 1 year, 81% had achieved functional tracheoesophageal speech, which was associated with cricopharyngeal myotomy (p = 0.04, HR 0.04, 95% CI 0.002–0.949). There were 34% of subjects who required at least one pharyngeal dilation for stricture by 1 year postoperatively. Over half (60%) of the cohort were dilated over the study period. Conclusions: Laryngectomy for the dysfunctional larynx improves speech and swallowing outcomes in many patients. Cricopharyngeal myotomy is associated with improved postoperative voice. While the need for enteral feeding is decreased, persistent postoperative swallowing dysfunction is common. Careful patient selection and education regarding functional expectations are paramount.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • Aspiration
  • Cricopharyngeal myotomy
  • Dysfunctional larynx
  • Dysphagia
  • Head and neck oncology
  • Laryngectomy
  • Pharyngeal dilation
  • Radiation
  • Speech
  • Swallowing
  • Tube feeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Speech and swallowing outcomes after laryngectomy for the dysfunctional irradiated larynx'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this