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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What do I need to know about a laryngectomy?

A laryngectomy is surgery to remove your larynx (voice box). This surgery is used to help treat cancer of the larynx, thyroid, or other throat cancers. After surgery, you will breathe through an opening in your neck called a stoma. You may have a total or partial laryngectomy depending on how much of your larynx needs to be removed.

How do I prepare for surgery?

What will happen during surgery?

What will happen after surgery?

What should I expect after surgery?

What are the risks of a laryngectomy?

You may bleed more than expected or develop an infection. Other parts of your esophagus or trachea may be damaged during surgery. A hematoma (collection of blood) may form around blood vessels. You may have breathing problems if your trachea is damaged during surgery. You may develop a fistula (abnormal connection between your pharynx and skin). The stoma may become tight. If you have a TEP, it may stark to leak. You may also develop problems with swallowing or speaking. Changes in your sense of smell may make it difficult to smell smoke or other harmful chemicals.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.