Tumor Debulking in the Management of Laryngeal Cancer Airway Obstruction

Eugenie Du, Richard V. Smith, Thomas J. Ow, Andrew B. Tassler, Bradley A. Schiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Patients presenting with advanced aerodigestive malignancy and respiratory compromise often undergo tracheotomy as initial airway management. Tumor debulking is a potential alternative. We present a case series with chart review to communicate our institutional experience with this technique. T3/4 glottic and supraglottic cancers treated between 2004 and 2014 underwent review, and 14 patients were identified for this study. Of these, 5 (35.7%) required subsequent tracheotomy, and 9 (64.3%) did not. Patients requiring subsequent tracheotomy had a delay in initiating definitive treatment when compared with those who did not (83.3 vs 31.3 days, P =.0025). No patient required a tracheotomy after initiation of definitive treatment. Our experience suggests that tumor debulking may be a viable option in select patients but that a delay in initiating treatment is associated with patients requiring tracheotomy subsequent to debulking. Further research is needed to better delineate patient scenarios in which tumor debulking alone is sufficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-807
Number of pages3
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • airway management
  • debulking
  • head and neck
  • squamous cell cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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