Transpharyngeal Approaches for Management of Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Mayo Clinic Institution Experience

Joseph N. Badaoui, Linda X. Yin, Adam B. Sauer, Eric J. Moore, Christine M. Lohse, Daniel L. Price, Jan L. Kasperbauer, Daniel B. Noel, Kerry D. Olsen, Kathryn M. Van Abel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Investigate oncologic and functional outcomes associated with transhyoid and lateral pharyngotomy (transpharyngeal) approaches in the treatment of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). Study Design: Retrospective review. Setting: Single institution (tertiary care center). Methods: This is a retrospective case series of patients with OPSCC undergoing transpharyngeal resection from 1990 to 2017 at Mayo Clinic. Oncologic outcomes, postoperative complications, objective swallowing data, and rates of tracheostomy and percutaneous gastrostomy tube dependence were recorded. Results: Of 83 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 56 (68%) were human papillomavirus positive. Overall survival rates at 5 and 10 years following surgery were 85% and 80%, respectively. Cancer-specific survival rates at these same time points were 90% and 88%. Following treatment, 35 of 49 patients (71%) had a Functional Oral Intake Scale score ≥5, indicating total oral intake of multiple consistencies; 79 of 82 (96%) were without tracheostomy or laryngectomy; and 71 of 81 (88%) were on a full oral diet. Conclusion: Transpharyngeal approaches provide adequate functional and oncologic outcomes in the majority of patients with OPSCC. These results may have important implications for patients who are not candidates for, or are unwilling to undergo, nonoperative therapy or for those without access to radiation therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-516
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • carcinoma
  • lateral pharyngotomy
  • oropharyngeal
  • pharyngotomy
  • transhyoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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