BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Total laryngectomy in thyroid cancer is controversial. Functional and oncologic outcomes are needed to inform surgical indications in this population.
METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed at a tertiary referral center from 1997 to 2018 to identify patients with a diagnosis of thyroid carcinoma who underwent total laryngectomy. Complications, survival outcomes, and functional outcomes were analyzed.
RESULTS: Thirty patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean age was 62 years (range, 30-88 years) and the male-to-female ratio was 1:2.75. The most common diagnosis was well-differentiated thyroid cancer (53.3%), followed by poorly differentiated (30%) and anaplastic (16.7%). Total laryngectomy was performed with a 10% rate of Clavien-Dindo Grade III-V complications. The median overall survival was 40 months (range, 1-237). Five-year overall survival was 39.5% and disease-specific survival was 51.1%. Locoregional control was achieved in 80.0% of patients. Twelve months postoperatively, 100% of surviving patients were taking oral intake and 86.4% had a self-reported functional voice.
CONCLUSION: Total laryngectomy for locally advanced thyroid cancer is safe and provides acceptable rates of locoregional control. While the risk of distant metastases remains high, advances in systemic therapy may justify aggressive local control strategies to improve the quality of life.