Assessment of Surgeon Judgment during Resection of Laryngeal Carcinoma

Document Type : Original


1 Otorhinolaryngology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Carbon dioxide (CO2) laser surgery as a conservative tool plays a peculiar role in the management of head and neck cancer. Numerous patients who were candidates for transoral laryngeal microsurgery have forced us to eliminate frozen-section evaluation of surgical margins and use a magnified view of the larynx. The present study evaluated surgeon-judged negative margins with permanent microscopic pathologic evaluation.
Materials and Methods:
In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated the permanent pathologic margins of the resected laryngeal specimen which were considered negative by judgment of surgeons. Patients consisted of 61 pathologic proven T1-T2 laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cases. In all patients, tumor resection was performed via a transoral route with CO2 laser, and no residual laryngeal tumor was observed according to judgment of the surgeon. The patients with positive margin (s) underwent another resection. Patients were followed up for 18 months for tumor recurrence.
The obtained results demonstrated that pathologic margins were reported in 6 patients, with the deep margin being the most common positive margin. During the 18-month follow-up, 8 cases of recurrence were detected.
Judgment of the surgeon was in agreement with permanent pathologic evaluation in transoral laryngeal laser resection at the early stages of laryngeal SCC in most cases. Nevertheless, it is suggested that further direct studies be conducted to evaluate the frozen section on oncologic outcomes in transoral laser surgery for laryngeal cancer.