After total laryngectomy, the severe reduction in nasal airflow alters the nasal cavity’s function and physiology. These anatomic and physiologic changes may, in turn, impact the sinonasal quality of life.

Researchers did this study to characterize the degree of postoperative sinonasal symptoms experienced by laryngectomees.

Two groups of subjects were recruited in this cross-sectional analysis: patients who previously underwent laryngectomy with or without chemoradiation for laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer and a comparison group treated with radiation but not laryngectomy. Patients underwent assessment of sinonasal symptoms using the rTNSS, SNOT-22, and VASs. Patients also underwent nasal endoscopy recorded and graded by blinded reviewers using the MLK scale.

Thirty-six laryngectomees and twelve controls were enrolled. The total SNOT-22 was similar between the two groups, but the laryngectomy cohort had higher rhinology, extra nasal, and ear/face subdomain scores. rTNSS and MLK scores were higher in the laryngectomy group.

The study concluded that laryngectomees are likely to experience a higher degree of subjective and objective nasal disease than non-laryngectomized patients. Postlaryngectomy nasal dysfunction may be an essential aspect of quality of life impairment in the laryngectomee population.