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November 1955

Surgery of Carcinoma of the Hypopharynx

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Illinois College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1955;62(5):493-496. doi:10.1001/archotol.1955.03830050035008

Changing concepts in the therapy of some forms of head and neck malignant growths have advocated wide and extensive surgical extirpation. Illustrative of this is the radical neck dissection, hemimandibulectomy, and removal of portions of the tongue and floor of the mouth for lesions of the tongue and/or the floor of the mouth; this surgical approach has greatly increased the five-year salvage rate of patients afflicted with these tumors. Equally gratifying has been the experience in the treatment of hypopharyngeal carcinoma.

In the past treatment was almost entirely limited to irradiation. Few patients were able to stand the shock of the surgery, and the morbidity and mortality were so great that few surgeons would operate. Advances in the physiology of fluid balance, anesthesia, and antibiotics have reduced surgical mortality to an almost unconsidered risk. This, plus the disappointing results of irradiation therapy, has encouraged increased attempts at surgical management.

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