Prophylactic gastrostomy tubes in advance of chemoradiotherapy for advanced head and neck malignancies – are they worthwhile?

It is well recognised that radical chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for head and neck cancers can significantly affect swallowing, especially if radiotherapy is delivered to the hypopharynx and/or both sides of the neck. As such, prophylactic gastrostomy tubes are often advocated in...

Inpatient or outpatient thyroidectomy?

This systematic review and meta-analysis discusses the safety of hemithyroidectomy in an outpatient vis-à-vis an inpatient setting. Thyroidectomy has traditionally been performed as an inpatient procedure. Currently, an increasing number of surgeons are performing thyroidectomy in outpatient settings. The main...

How do mermaids hear?

When the imagery of childhood fairy tales meets the more clinically analytical mind of an adult, there may at some point come the question, ‘how do mermaids hear’? Luckily a department of biology in Denmark has sought to furnish such...

Indication and timing of electrodiagnostic tests in facial palsy

This excellent review describes the benefits and limitations of electrodiagnostic testing for patients with facial paralysis. Tests such as Schirmer, stapedial reflex and electrogustometry have been largely replaced by neurophysiologic tests like nerve excitability test (NET), electroneuronography (ENoG), surface electromyography...

Corticosteroid prescribing in ENT - are we at risk of being sued?

Of medications leading to malpractice claims, corticosteroids comprise the third most common. They are used widely and have a significant side-effect profile: hypertension, lipodystrophy, diabetes, avascular necrosis of the femoral head, peptic ulceration and psychiatric reactions to name but a...

Epithelial risk factors

This review paper from Barcelona retrospectively assesses patients diagnosed with oral epithelial dysplasia between 1995-2014 and followed up until 2017. In total, 144 cases were noted, of which 42% progressed to an oral cancer by the time of review in...

Reducing nasal changes in SARPE

This paper from Belgium highlights completing a sub-spinal cortectomy of the anterior nasal spine during the procedure of surgically assisted rapid palatal expansion (SARPE) as a means of reducing the alar and columella width as well as the nasolabial angle....

Piezoelectric saw reducing sensory disturbance in mandibular osteotomies

This paper from Seattle in the United States looked at 20 patients with a mean age of 19.9 +/- 3.2 years with a fairly standard surgical movement. They found that functional sensory recovery of the inferior alveolar nerve resulted in...

Gastrostomy tube dependence following TORS

Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) is now a well-established treatment modality for early (T1-T2) disease. Accumulating evidence suggests that one of its main benefits relative to conventional chemoradiotherapy is superior long-term functional outcome, especially with...

Are quinsies worth draining?

Recent data is providing accumulating evidence that treatment failure in the management of peritonsillar abscesses (PTAs, aka ‘quinsies’) is similar when these are managed with medical treatment (MT) alone versus MT plus surgical drainage (M+ST). However, in the absence of...

Speech predictors after glossectomy

This is a cross-sectional study from India where 69 patients were assessed for speech intelligibility and phonetics using an assessment tool in the local language. Volume defects were classified into thirds and the location of this defect noted. Not unsurprisingly,...

Sublingual gland tumour resection

This paper from South Korea analyses the pathology arising from 20 malignant sublingual gland tumours. Adenoid cystic carcinoma followed by mucoepidermoid carcinomas were the most common. Tumour invasion into the lingual nerve was detected in 40% of cases, and into...