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October 1971

Laryngeal Suspension After Supraglottic Laryngectomy

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Department of Surgery/Head and Neck, University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1971;94(4):306-309. doi:10.1001/archotol.1971.00770070498003

Although supraglottic laryngectomy provides cure rates comparable to those of total laryngectomy, chronic aspiration has been a problem in more than half of the patients treated. Deglutition is a complex neuromuscular process that, nevertheless, has the capacity to adapt to certain laryngopharynx deficiencies. The patient who has undergone supraglottic laryngectomy can accommodate to loss of the laryngeal inlet sphincter; however, the lack of laryngeal support has been shown to engender a high rate of aspiration and to be the major factor delaying rehabilitation of swallowing. The suspension technique described restores laryngeal support, allows better protection of the laryngeal inlet by the base of the tongue, and provides a laryngeal tilt to promote clearing of residual food on the glottis.