A historical overview of laryngeal carcinoma and the first total laryngectomies.J BUON 2017 May-Jun; 22(3):807-811JB
Laryngeal cancer was a well known entity since antiquity and its treatment evolved through several phases. The lack of knowledge in anatomy and pathology as well as the absence of anesthesia and proper instrumentation made the treatment almost impossible. Ancient physicians were performing laryngotomy or tracheotomy in an attempt to prevent the suffocation symptoms produced by tumoral masses. In 19th century the invention of laryngoscope and the advent of pathology and anesthesiology encouraged surgeons to operate on man. In 1873 Theodor Billroth (1829-1894) performed the first laryngectomy followed by several other colleagues among which Enrico Bottini (1837-1903) and Themistocles Gluck (1853-1942). Thanks to their contribution a new era came in laryngeal cancer treatment: the conservation laryngeal surgery.