"Laryngofissure," "laryngotomy," "thyrofissure," "thyrotomy"—all these terms indicate a division of the thyroid cartilage in the midline. They do not include excision of the diseased tissue within the larynx. The operation might more properly be designated "laryngofissure with excision," so as to convey a better understanding of the nature and extent of the procedure.
The origin of laryngofissure is usually traced to Desault.1 He first suggested it some time during the latter part of the eighteenth century. In those days the operation was termed laryngotomy, or opening of the larynx, and was considered a subdivision of bronchotomy. The other subdivision was tracheotomy. Laryngotomy consisted of dividing the cricothyroid membrane transversely or of cutting the thyroid cartilage longitudinally. In 1812 Bichat2 wrote that laryngotomy "was not described except by some authors who restrained the use of it too much and retrenched the process." Bichat preferred "laryngotomy" to "tracheotomy." He claimed for it