Many diseases of the larynx (voice box) are surgically treatable with a specialized, minimally invasive endoscopic approach, which does not require external incisions in the neck. During a suspension microlaryngoscopy, a device known as a laryngeal suspension is used to position the patient's head and neck properly to access the larynx.
After a patient is completely asleep and relaxed under general anesthesia, the larynx can usually be directly visualized and manipulated using a small, lighted metal tube (laryngoscope) that is temporarily placed into the mouth and throat (direct laryngoscopy). Because the vocal cords are small structures, an operating microscope is also used to provide significant magnification and greatly improve operative precision.
Vocal cord cancer, vocal cord dysplasia, and some benign growths, like laryngeal papillomatosis, all depend on a blood supply that is more dense than that of the healthy, surrounding laryngeal tissue in order to exist and grow. The green light, 532 nm potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) laser targets hemoglobin within these blood vessels - a characteristic called angioselectivity. As a result, the KTP laser is extremely useful for treating many diseases of the vocal cords that arise in the context of increased blood vessel content. While minimizing damage to normal surrounding structures, the KTP laser helps to maximize voice results after laryngeal surgery.
Because the KTP laser is delivered through a thin, flexible glass fiber, it can be used both through the rigid laryngoscope in the operating room with a patient asleep under general anesthesia as well as through a flexible laryngoscope in the office where a patient can be treated while fully awake.
This advanced, state-of-the-art technology for treating certain types of laryngeal disease is only available in select centers around the country. At our Voice Center, it is used frequently, both in the operating room, as well as the office setting.
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For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 847.504.3300.