Skip to Content
Authors Lippert D, Hoffman MR, Britt CJ, Jones CA, Hernandez J, Ciucci MR, McCulloch TM
Author Profile(s)
Journal Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol. Volume: 125 Issue: 7 Pages: 541-9
Publish Date 2016 Jul
PubMed ID 26868604
PMC ID 5300062

Understanding of swallowing pressures after total laryngectomy (TL) and what constitutes a “functional” swallow are limited. Mobile structures are altered or removed after TL, with consequent effects on pressure profiles. High-resolution manometry (HRM) can characterize these pressures.Six TL subjects without dysphagia and 6 controls underwent pharyngeal HRM. Timing and pressure variables for the velopharynx, mesopharynx, and upper esophageal sphincter (UES) were compared. Changes in variables due to bolus volume were evaluated in TL subjects.The TL subjects had increased duration of velopharyngeal pressure (P = .012). Maximum mesopharyngeal pressure was lower versus controls (P = .003). Maximal and total pre-opening (P = .002, P = .002) and post-closure (P = .001, P = .002) UES pressures were lower. Maximum mesopharyngeal pressure (P = .032) decreased with increasing bolus volume.Increased velopharyngeal pressure duration and total swallow duration reflect separation of the pharynx into distinct conduits for air and food, thus ensuring successful bolus passage without the need for respiration. Decreased UES pressure highlights the effects of disrupting the cricopharyngeal and rostral esophageal muscle fibers from their attachments to the larynx and performing a cricopharyngeal myotomy. Additional studies including subjects with dysphagia could further characterize the functional TL swallow and identify aspects susceptible to dysfunction.

Full Text Full text available on PubMed Central Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System