The open organ preservation surgical procedures are an important part of the head and neck surgeon's armamentarium for treating laryngeal cancer. The principles of organ preservation surgery as they apply to laryngeal cancer must be thoroughly appreciated and strictly applied for oncologic and functional success. The selection of eligible patients for these procedures is an art and requires a keen clinical acumen. The vertical partial laryngectomy and supraglottic laryngectomy have defined clinical applications that are relatively well accepted. The supracricoid laryngectomy continues gaining acceptance as a means of treating more extensive glottic and transglottic lesions while maintaining physiologic speech and swallowing without the need for a permanent tracheostoma. The inability to include and use the open surgical organ preservation approaches in the organ preservation paradigm for larynx cancer severely limits the patient's treatment options. Total laryngectomy and medical organ preservation protocols may not be acceptable to the patient from a quality-of-life standpoint. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the head and neck surgeon to have a thorough understanding of all the options available for treatment in the organ preservation paradigm for laryngeal cancer. These options must be skillfully evaluated as they relate to the patient's disease process and confidently used to provide the best oncologic and functional outcome.
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