Authors: Remacle M, Lawson G, Watelet J
Title: Carbon Dioxide Laser Microsurgery of Benign Vocal Fold Lesions: Indications, Techniques, and Results in 251 Patients
Source: Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 1999 108(2): 156-164
Year: 1999
Research Design: Case Series

Two hundred fifty-one carbon dioxide laser-assisted cases of microphonosurgery are reported. Our series includes 167 women (66.5%) and 84 men (33.5%), with a mean age of 41 (+/-11) years. Single lesions represent 67.8% (n = 170) of the cases, with 20% (n = 50) being nodules, 18% (n = 44) Reinke's edema, 9% (n = 23) polyps, 8% (n = 19) sulci and related lesions, 6% (n = 16) mucosal cysts, 4% (n = 10) scars, 2% (n = 4) granulomas, and 2% (n = 4) vascular corditis. The cases with 2 or 3 lesions represented 32% (n = 81). Carbon dioxide laser-assisted microphonosurgery is efficient, provided the working parameters are strictly adhered to: micromanipulator micropoint providing a 250-microm laser beam for a 400-mm working distance; 0.1-second single pulses; and maximum power of 3 W with the superpulse wave. Glutaraldehyde-cross-linked collagen remains our filling material of choice in cases of vocal fold atrophy. Fibrin glue is useful for covering the resection area and for setting the microflaps. Microphonosurgery cannot be dissociated from speech therapy, the planning and duration of which, in relation to the procedure, depend on the nature of the initial lesion. Twenty to 30 sessions are usually adequate, but 6 months may be necessary in the case of sulcus vergetures. Our operating technique is derived from the microphonosurgery procedures with cold instruments. In addition to the classic advantage with regard to hemostasis, the carbon dioxide laser micropoint seems to make the dissection of microflaps easier.

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