Select early glottic carcinomas in patients with normal vocal cord mobility can be successfully treated with cordectomy, performed either endoscopicaliy or by means of an open operation (laryngofissure-cordectomy). From 1976 to 1986, 95 patients underwent cordectomy at our institution. There were 88 men and 7 women, with an age range at the time of surgery of 27 to 84 years. A laryngofissure was used to perform a cordectomy in 61 patients and an endoscopic approach was used in 34. The median number of days in the hospital for the endoscopic group was 2, and for the laryngofissure group it was 6. The Kaplan-Meier product-limit method showed the probability of no recurrence in the first 3 years after an endoscopic cordectomy was 0.9099, and in the laryngofissure-cordectomy group it was 0.9502. To date, there have been four recurrences (11.8%) in the endoscopic group and three (4.9%) in the laryngofissure group. Only one patient with recurrent tumor is known to have died of the cancer. Laryngectomy was necessary for ultimate control in three patients. The Kaplan-Meier survival curve for the 95 patients was the same as that for a sex- and age-matched control group. Cordectomy is an effective treatment option that results in minimal morbidity for select early glottic carcinomas.
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