The role of laryngectomy in locally advanced thyroid carcinoma. Review of 16 cases
Locally advanced disease with larynx invasion is a challenge to the surgeon, but laryngectomy is almost never necessary in thyroid carcinoma.
The aim of this study was to review the clinical outcomes of patients with locally advanced thyroid carcinoma invading the larynx who underwent
laryngectomy. A case series of patients treated in a tertiary care hospital was reviewed. Data about the type of operation, method of reconstruction,
complications and overall survival of 16 patients operated on between 2002 and 2015 with larynx invasion is presented. There were 10 females.
The mean age was 63 ± 8.8 years. Besides total thyroidectomy and neck dissection, four patients underwent total pharyngolaryngectomy, 11 total
laryngectomy and one hemi-laryngectomy. Reconstruction was made with regional flaps in 10 patients (7 pectoral/Bakamjian flaps and 3 gastric
pull-through procedures) and a jejunum free flap in one patient. Two patients needed carotid artery reconstruction. Five tumours were classic
(conventional) papillary carcinoma variants, while the others were aggressive histological varieties (insular, tall cell, sclerosing). The mean tumour
size was 4.3 ± 1.6 cm. All tumours had lymphovascular invasion and 12 had positive lymph nodes. Concomitantly, oesophageal/hypopharyngeal
invasion was present in 7 cases and invasion of carotid vessels in 2 cases. There were two postoperative deaths and two anastomotic leaks that were
treated conservatively. The mean overall survival was 31 ± 33 months (median 27.6 months, range 0-120). Laryngectomy is an alternative surgical
procedure to control selected cases of advanced thyroid carcinoma that offers good local control and long term survival.