Here is the abstract from Holly Bocock’s final year research project, supervised by Dr Nicole Lallini and Diane Goff (Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust).
Long-term Functional Outcomes Following Transoral Robotic Surgery for Patients with Hypopharyngeal Cancer
This study aimed to evaluate the long-term functional swallow outcomes following transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for patients with hypopharyngeal cancer.
Outcome measures of physical swallow function, diet modifications and dysphagia-related quality of life were gathered by retrospectively analysing scores on the Water Swallow Test (WST), Performance Status Scale (PSS) for normalcy of diet and M.D. Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (MDADI) obtained prior to TORS, at three-months post-surgery and after a year.
Twelve patients (10 male), mean age 64.9years, were included. Participants most commonly had T2 staging (58.3%) with no nodal involvement (N0=50%). Survival to the time of study was 50%. WST revealed reduced swallow capacity and speed one-year post-TORS, but no statistically significant change. Four of six patients were able to eat a normal diet after one year, no statistical difference in PSS scores was found over time. Comparative analysis was not possible for MDADI scores due to limited data, however 50% fell within the ‘optimal’ category (>80 points), and 50% within the ‘adequate’ category (76-79).
For patients with hypopharyngeal cancer, TORS was shown to provide encouraging long-term functional outcomes, with no significant difference in physical swallow ability, adaptations to diet or self-perceived swallow function found from pre-TORS to one-year post-TORS.
Key Words: Quantitative Data analysis, Dysphagia, Head and neck cancer