Laryngeal Cancer

Transoral Laser Surgery for Laryngeal Cancer

Vlad C. Sandulache and Michael E. Kupferman


Transoral laser microsurgery (TLM) was pioneered in the early 1970s as an approach to treat laryngeal pathology with precision and minimal thermal damage to the vocal cords. Over the last four decades, TLM has become an integral part of the treatment paradigm for patients with laryngeal cancer. TLM is one of the primary treatment options for early-stage laryngeal tumors. However, in recent years, surgeons have begun to develop TLM into a more versatile approach which can be used to address advanced laryngeal tumors. Although functional outcomes following TLM for advanced laryngeal disease are scarce, survival outcomes appear to be comparable with those reported for organ preservation strategies employing external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and chemotherapy. In addition, TLM plays an important role in the setting of recurrent laryngeal cancer following primary irradiation. TLM has been demonstrated to decrease the need for salvage total laryngectomy resulting in improved functionality while retaining comparable oncologic outcomes. The aims of this review are to elucidate the indications, techniques, and oncological outcomes of TLM for advanced laryngeal cancers.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2014;5(2):e0012