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 Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

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: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>