Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

K.U.Leuven Scientist Develops New Surgical Technique For Laryngeal Tumours

28.07.2004


Professor Pierre Delaere (Otorhinolaryngology section, K.U.Leuven) has in the past decade developed a new surgical technique for larynx reconstruction. In an increasing number of cases, this innovative technique can save the larynx in patients suffering from vocal cord cancer. Patients are able to breathe, swallow and speak normally following the operation, something that was previously impossible since the entire larynx frequently needed to be removed, even if only one vocal cord was affected.



The larynx separates the digestive system and the respiratory system. If the larynx is removed then the separation must be effected in some other way. Persons without a larynx can still eat if the oesophagus is connected directly to the oral cavity. However, this means that breathing through the mouth and nose becomes impossible and a permanent opening (stoma) for the trachea has to be made in the patient’s neck. This is a very conspicuous intervention and results in many problems of adaptation. Speech is still possible using an apparatus placed in the stoma, but the patient must cover the opening with his finger.

Prof. Delaere investigated why the larynx was completely removed in almost every case. In part, this is a result of the complex structure of the larynx itself. If part of the larynx is removed, two main problems arise: new tissue must be found to replace what has been removed, and the supply of blood must be optimal to ensure that the new tissue does not die.


Prof. Delaere found solutions to both these problems. Since the human trachea is five centimetres too long, this extra length can be stretched out and put in place of the part of the larynx which was removed, as long as a sufficient blood supply is maintained. The solution to this was to take a bit of tissue from the forearm, wrap it around the trachea and connect it with the blood vessels in the neck. Following such an operation, patients can breathe as before through the mouth and nose, and they still have their sense of smell. In most cases they have no problem swallowing and can still speak naturally, though with only one vocal cord the voice will be softer and hoarser.

After many successful operations at K.U.Leuven University Hospital, Prof. Delaere’s technique is now past the experimental phase and is described in his book, Laryngotracheal Reconstruction: From Lab to Clinic. Now the complete removal of the larynx can be avoided in one in five cases of laryngeal cancer. An early diagnosis is of crucial importance since the prognosis gets worse as the tumour further develops.

The incidence of laryngeal cancer continues to rise. Of all types of cancer, 3.5% are cancers of the larynx. In 90% of these cases, smoking is the main cause, sometimes combined with excessive alcohol use.

Pierre Delaere | alfa
Further information:
http://www.kuleuven.ac.be

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

nachricht Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>