Complications of total laryngectomy: a 7-year experience in a university hospital in Paraguay


  • Humberto Lugo Pla
  • Héctor Solís Núñez
  • Santiago Marcelo Giménez Almeida
  • Ana Alicia María Benítez
  • Carlos Enrique Mena Canata


laryngeal cancer, total laryngectomy, postoperative complications, pharyngocutaneous fistula, radiotherapy


Introduction: Laryngeal cancer is the most common malignant neoplasm of the upper aerodigestive tract. Total laryngectomy is the treatment of choice in advanced cases, but it is associated with a high rate of complications. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of postoperative complications of total laryngectomy and associated factors in patients with laryngeal cancer. Materials and methods: Observational, descriptive, retrospective, cross-sectional study, reviewing the behavior of total laryngectomy and its main complications in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology of the Hospital de Clínicas, Faculty of Medical Sciences, National University of Asunción, Paraguay, from 2015 to 2022. Patients over 18 years of age, of both sexes, who underwent total laryngectomy, with anatomopathological diagnosis of laryngeal neoplasm were included. Non-operated patients, those with incomplete records or who abandoned treatment were excluded. Demographic, clinical, surgical and anatomopathological variables were analyzed. Results: Ten patients were included, all male, with a mean age of 56.3 ± 10.2 years. Ninety percent had toxic habits. The most frequent complication was pharyngocutaneous fistula (70%), followed by surgical site infection (10%) and postoperative bleeding (10%). Conservative measures resolved 71.4% of the fistulas. Thirty percent had supraglottic involvement and 57.1% of those who presented complications received previous radiotherapy. Conclusion: Complications of total laryngectomy are frequent, mainly pharyngocutaneous fistula. Supraglottic involvement and previous radiotherapy were associated with a higher rate of complications. Prospective studies with larger samples are required to confirm these findings.


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How to Cite

Lugo Pla, H., Solís Núñez, H., Giménez Almeida, S. M., Benítez, A. A. M., & Mena Canata, C. E. (2024). Complications of total laryngectomy: a 7-year experience in a university hospital in Paraguay. Anales of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, 57(1), 19–25. Retrieved from