This prospective study, performed from 1991 to 1996, analyzes the differences in oncological safety, functional utility, and surgical morbidity in 14 advanced lesions of the larynx (10 T3 and 4 T4; 7 N+) and 40 pyriform sinus lesions (1 T2, 20 T3, and 19 T4; 29 N+) subjected to Pearson near-total laryngectomy. The laryngeal cancer patients healed much faster, with a minimal wound complication rate of 28%, in comparison to the 68% rate encountered in the pyriform sinus cases (p <.05). The 3-year disease-free survival rate for the laryngeal cancers was 74%, while the 5-year survival rates for pyriform sinus cases were 66% for medial wall lesions and 54% for lateral wall lesions. Lung-powered shunt speech deemed qualitatively superior by acoustic analysis was obtained in 81% of the individuals (93% in laryngeal cases and 76% in pyriform sinus cases). Aspiration-free deglutition was achieved by 90% over periods ranging from 15 to 30 days. This study conclusively attests to the therapeutic efficacy of near-total laryngectomy for advanced lesions of the larynx and pyriform sinus that are unsuitable for radiotherapy, that are deemed too large or risky (because of aspiration) for partial laryngectomy, and that in the past would have merited total laryngectomy.
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