Laser Surgery

Increasingly skilled Head and Neck Microsurgeons perform trans-oral laser microsurgery for patients with cancer of the larynx, oral cavity and pharynx. This procedure is typically used for small to medium sized tumours in the throat but sometimes is the best approach even for large tumours. Trans-oral laser microsurgery has many advantages over conventional surgery including:

  • Preservation of normal tissue
  • A shorter hospital stay than typically required for conventional surgery
  • Swallowing and speech may be less impaired
  • A tracheotomy tube may not be necessary

Laser Surgery for Head and Neck Cancer

Trans-oral endoscopic laser excision of cancers is a relatively modern treatment option. It is less invasive and therefore preserves function more successfully than traditional approaches. If the tumours are excised early it can avoid the need for radiotherapy, which is a very positive attribute of the clinic. For larger cancers, the procedure is generally less effective.

In traditional techniques of removing a throat cancer, a large piece of tissue would have to be cut away surrounding the tumour, In transoral laser microsurgery, on the other had, the degree of precision is increased as the tissue is cut out in small pieces with the laster until all traces are gone. Nearby tissue is not as affected as in the traditional procedures. The use of microscope also creates more certainty that the entirety of the cancerous mass was removed.

Professor Havas has extensive experience in Microlaryngeal Laser Surgery for throat cancer and in fact has recently designed a range of new laryngoscopes and malleable instruments to facilitate performing these operations. He uses, as is appropriate, not only a small spot carbon dioxide laser but also a new single fibre pulsed diode laser.