Enhanced recovery following surgery for head and neck cancer – the current evidence

Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) programmes are now well established in many surgical specialities as a means of reducing postoperative complications and length of stay in hospital. Whilst many head and neck teams have interventions used to aid postoperative recovery,...

Patient positioning for transnasal flexible laryngoscopy

The position of a patient’s head during flexible nasendoscopy to visualise the larynx does not usually require much consideration – adequate views are almost always obtained with a patient sitting in a neutral position. Occasionally however, there will be patients...

Laryngeal evaluation during COVID-19 using transcervical ultrasonography

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors highlight their protocol of transcutaneous laryngeal ultrasonography as an alternative to flexible fibreoptic laryngoscopy when appropriate. This is to reduce the risk of aerosolisation posed by laryngoscopy. Ultrasonography is a rapid, non-invasive...

Vocal fold motion impairment following intubation – how likely is it to recover?

Ed’s Choice reviews a timely paper investigating prolonged intubation on vocal fold motion. The current scientific literature is dominated by studies examining COVID-19 and its widespread effects on health and healthcare delivery but will be old news by the time...

Telepractice for the delivery of paediatric feeding services

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, telepractice is being heralded as the safest service delivery mode for the majority of outpatient consultations. Patients are reviewed by their healthcare specialist through video consultations, thus avoiding the need for patients to leave their...

Patient reported outcomes following total laryngectomy using the Swallowing Outcomes After Laryngectomy (SOAL) questionnaire

Following a total laryngectomy, alterations in the pharyngeal musculature and changes in the pharyngo-oesophageal segment due to reconstruction, results in altered bolus transit. Swallowing dysfunction after total laryngectomy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma can vary from 10%-90%. There...

Early injection laryngoplasty for iatrogenic vocal fold movement impairment – a safe and effective treatment

This Ed’s Choice examines the role of early injection laryngoplasty on swallowing dysfunction and is one of a few studies available in the literature. Research on early injection laryngoplasty has been predominately focused on voice and reducing the risk of...

Increasing tongue strength to reduce dysphagia: what is the potential benefit of a device driven exercise?

Weakness in tongue muscle strength and laryngeal elevation is known to have an adverse impact on swallowing function. Various swallowing exercises are often recommended to improve function of these important structures with the goal of preventing aspiration and improving swallow...

Percutaneous tracheostomy in anticoagulated patients

This Belgian study looked at the risks and complications of bedside percutaneous tracheostomy in patients who received anticoagulant therapy. The 231 tracheostomies included in the study were performed over an eight-year period by two otolaryngologists using bronchoscopic guidance. The mean...

Narrow band imaging in laryngopharyngeal reflux

Narrow band imaging (NBI) is a tool on the Olympus endoscopic systems that uses blue and green wavelengths to enhance visualisation of mucosal vasculature. It has been used to aid in the early diagnosis of upper aerodigestive tract cancers. A...

Salivary pepsin – a simple test for LPR?

A diagnosis of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) can be made on the basis of characteristic symptoms and nasendoscopy findings. Objective tests exist for this condition; for example, 24-hour dual-channel pH-metry which is considered to be the gold standard. Such tests are,...

Is the greater auricular nerve important in parotid surgery?

The greater auricular nerve (GAN) is often partially or totally sacrificed during parotidectomy procedures. This was a retrospective study comparing auricular sensation and quality of life in patients that either had their GAN preserved or sacrificed. In the shortterm, patients...