The treatment of patients with advanced stage (T3 and T4) larynx (laryngeal carcinoma) or lower throat cancer (hypopharyngeal carcinoma) has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. The number of patients that received organ-sparing treatment with (chemo) radiotherapy increased, while the use of primary surgery (total laryngectomy; TL) decreased. A TL is more often used as a last resort after (chemo) radiotherapy. In this changing treatment landscape, it is important to continue to monitor postoperative care, postoperative recovery and rehabilitation after a total laryngectomy, in addition to attention for functional and oncological results, says Liset Lansaat in her dissertation.
The quality of care, including insight into the occurrence of complications, must be measurable, and this requires honest, clinically relevant and useful comparisons within and between treatment centers. There are also still discussions or uncertainties about certain questions. For example, when can patients eat again after their surgery? Is voice rehabilitation using a voice prosthesis still a successful method?
Liset Lansaat examined existing care after larynx removal. She set up a study in which all primary head and neck centers in the Netherlands participate and she was able to answer a number of the questions . We now know, for example, that it is safe for patients to start eating sooner after the operation than was previously thought and that voice rehabilitation using a voice prosthesis is still a very successful method.