New Medical Technique Can Actually Predict Complications after Surgery for Larynx Cancer

If any wound after surgery does not heal, it can get quite problematic for patients who may have to return to the surgery table. But now medical technology has brought a lot of hope to such patients who are at the highest risk of such things happening. A new technique conceived at the University of Michigan now helps identify such high risks patients and allow surgeons to make necessary adjustments to prevent any issues of wound healing to prevent them from having to go back to the operating table.

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1New technique to assess risk of cancer surgery

The new technique that is a brainchild of scientists at Michigan University is a technique that illuminates the blood flow while surgery is going on also predicts if head and neck cancer patients undergoing the surgery are liable to have wound healing issues. This will also help surgeons to take appropriate action and perform adjustments during the surgery or the recovery process to improve the condition of the patient, improve the outcome of the surgery and prevent any problems.

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2Clinical trials successful

The researchers found the technique highly successful in clinical trials that will now allow the technique to be available for others. The study itself was concluded earlier than usual because of the phenomenal success. Currently, those patients suffering from larynx cancer will require radiation and chemotherapy. The problem is that the cancer is a highly resistant one and returns making surgery the only option.

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3Chemo damages good tissue

What happens then is that the radiation and chemo proves a huge challenge for surgery. Once the wound is closed after a surgery is performed, the tissues damaged by radiation can interfere with the wound healing process. At least 40% of patients might develop what is known as a pharyngocutaneous fistula which is a hole in the neck from where saliva starts leaking out.

This condition can also lead to bleeding and infections thereby prolonging the hospital stay of the patient. At least 10% of cases will require another round of surgery for fixing the problem. Radiation damage isn’t visible always and it isn’t easy to predict who is going to experience complications.

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4The study

In the study, researchers enrolled 41 patients that had to undergo a laryngectomy after radiation. Once the tumor was removed, the anaesthologist gave the patient an intravenous injection of a medical dye called indocyanine green. They then closed the throat of the patient. The dye circulated in 40 seconds and then Surgeons with the help of laser angiography illuminates the dye which enables them to observe the blood flow.

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