Surgeons at Montefiore Medical Center are using a new form of treatment for cancer of the larynx that allows for quicker recovery and shorter hospital stays, and saves the voice box so patients retain the ability to speak.
"We have found that our Endoscopic Laser Laryngectomy procedure is much more effective in terms of preserving a better quality of life for patients with cancer of the larynx," said Richard Smith, MD, the ear, nose and throat surgeon pioneering the new surgical procedure at Montefiore. "Because this procedure is much less invasive we can also do it on much older patients with better outcomes."
"By using a laser light beam that cuts like a scalpel, we do the surgery by going in through the mouth," Dr. Smith said. "That means there's no open wound, and no tracheotomy (a breathing tube in the neck) is needed -- so we can save the voice box."
Before using a laser, standard procedures for treating the cancer were by radiation, chemotherapy and traditional open wound surgery.
The larynx, or voice box, is located in the neck and has three important functions: it forms a portion of the air passageway through which we breathe, and it protects the lungs from food by closing when we eat, and is the source of our voice function.
According to the American Cancer Society, about ten thousand new cases of cancer of the larynx are reported annually in the United States.
Montefiore Medical Center, The University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, ranks among the top one percent of all US hospitals based on its investments in medical innovation and cutting-edge technology.
Montefiore invests more in order to enable compassionate, personalized care and the most positive outcomes for patients and their families in New York, the tri-state area and beyond.
Montefiore's unique combination of 'state-of-the-art' technology with 'state-of-the-heart' medical and nursing care in a teaching and research environment provides patients with access to world-class medical experts, the newest and most innovative treatments and the best medical center experience anywhere.
This 1,062 bed medical center includes the Henry and Lucy Moses Division, the Jack D. Weiler Hospital and The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, a large home healthcare agency and a 21-site medical group practice located throughout the Bronx and nearby Westchester.
Montefiore treats all major illnesses and has distinguished centers of excellence in cardiology and cardiac surgery, cancer care, tissue and organ transplantation, children's health, women's health, surgery and the surgical subspecialties. Montefiore Medical Center focuses on providing family- centered healthcare in a nurturing environment that extends well beyond hospital and clinic walls.