The detection of early esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in patients following radiotherapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) has increased with the development of endoscopic technologies. The aim of the current case - control study was to elucidate the risk factors of serious laryngeal edema, a lethal complication that occurs during endoscopic resection for ESCC. Among 184 consecutive patients who were treated by endoscopic resection for ESCC between January 2009 and May 2012, five of 22 patients with a history of radiotherapy for HNSCC suffered from serious laryngeal edema, which was not observed in patients who had not undergone radiotherapy. The susceptibility to serious laryngeal edema in patients with a history of radiotherapy followed by neck dissection for HNSCC was significantly greater than those without such histories. Despite the limited number of cases, we suggest that previous radiotherapy followed by neck dissection for HNSCC might be a predictive factor for serious laryngeal edema during endoscopic resection.