[english] The principles of open versus laser microsurgical approaches for partial resections of the larynx are described, oncologic as well as functional results discussed and corresponding outcomes following primary radiotherapy are opposed. Over the last decade, the endoscopic partial resection of the larynx has developed to an accepted approach in the treatment of early glottic and supraglottic carcinomas thus leading to a remarkable decline in the use of open surgery. Comparing the various surgical approaches of laryngeal partial resections, the oncological outcome of the patients, as far as survival and organ preservation are concerned, are comparable, whereas functional results of the endoscopic procedures are superior with less morbidity. The surgical procedures put together, are all superior to radiotherapy concerning organ preservation. Transoral laser microsurgery has been used successfully for vocal cord carcinomas with impaired mobility or fixation of the vocal cord, supraglottic carcinomas with infiltration of the pre- and/or paraglottic space as well as for selected hypopharyngeal carcinomas. It has been well documented that laser microsurgery achieves good oncological as well as functional results with reasonable morbidity. However, patients with those tumours have been successfully treated by open partial resections of the larynx at medical centres with appropriate expertise. The initially enthusiastic assessment of study results concerning the efficacy of various protocols of chemoradiation with the intent of organ preservation for laryngeal and hypopharyngeal carcinomas are judged more cautious, today, due to recent reports of rather high rates of late toxicity complications.