Q: Does anyone have experience with laryngeal tie back surgery???

January 2, 2009 | By teri m. | 2 answers | Expired: 2581 days ago

teri m.

Hi, our 10 year old english bulldog Mia was diagnosed with cutaneous mast cell cancer on her lower lip area 1 1/2 years ago, we had it removed immediately and got good margins on the growth but a few months later during a regular check she presented with a swollen lymph node/submandibular, we opted for chemo and radiation and began tx immediately. She's been cancer free for a year now and we're thrilled, her health is impeccable other than what I believe is a result of radiation tx's to her neck/throat area. She now has laryngeal paralysis, the opening to her airway is very small, about the size of a straw, she compensates really well by limiting her activity(she's a senior bulldog sleep brings her a lot of joy) we have had her on prednisone to manage swelling but her oncologist and the surgeon suggest a procedure to tie back one side of her laryneal opening/flap and also removal of the sacs in her throat (they're swollen which could be contricting her airway too) I get mixed reviews on the surgery from differnet sites I visit, my local vet has not had experience with the surgery or post surgery results, I'm torn, I hate to put her through another treatment and hate for her to be placed at risk for aspiration pneumonia which is a real threat post laryngeal tie back surgery, I'm hoping someone out there has had experience with similar condition and/or post laryngeal surgery results. Thanks so much.

Readers' Answers (2)
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Jan 02, 2009

I haven't but I really wish you the best, my girl had a toe removed because of bone cancer, she's been doing great, but I know how I felt when I was told and sometimes I look at her & a tear comes because I don't know what I would do it complications came up, just do what you think is right for you and your dog, and you will know you did what was best, thats all you can do, it will be what you decide in the end.

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betty p.

Jan 02, 2009

My Hrothgar has mast cell cancer for over 2 years now. The cells were in spot where we could not really operate and get good margins. So we went straight to chemo. That worked on two and the other two cells got so small we had them removed with good margins. (he now has another one).

He also has a parlysis Laryngeal. He has had this for almost the same about of time he has been on chemo. He is a very large lab mix (over 100 pounds). He has been doing fine with it. We do limit his activities which is not a problem since he is older. He does fine for walks up and down our long driveway. He does play with the other dogs.

The doctors told us about surgery to help fix it. It sounds similiar to what you list above. We decided not to do it.

Hrothgar is healthy other than the cancer coming and going. But at his age, I just can not see putting him thru this surgery. The only time we notice problems with is breathing is when he goes up the stairs at night to go to bed. He being 100 pounds, we can not carry him. But he gets up the stairs and is a little out of breathe. We rub on him and get him to slow his breathing down. It is to the point now, he knows to slow down his breathing and he is fine.

Here is a question for you. Will the surgery improve her health. Will it give her more years with you. Or is it something you think she can live with provide you continue to help her with meds and an easy life style.

And also remember that surgeons only make money when they perform a surgery. I learned that from the surgeon where we take Hrothgar for chemo. The day of our first visit and all the cells where found and the oncologist said, "we could have the cells removed, hope for good margins and do chemo, or we can do chemo." I asked to speak to the surgeon. He told me straight up that "it is his job to talk us into surgery as that is how he makes money and that it is always better to at least remove some than none at all". I said, but what is the point if you can not remove it all. I said, why not do chemo, hope to shrink and then surgery. The guy just smiled at me, winked and walked out of the room.

I would also ask for other opinions. Some vets will review your case for a small fee and give an opinion.

Hope this helps.

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