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Laryngectomy

Surgical removal of the larynx (voice box)

HCA UK experts explain what happens during and after the surgical procedure to remove the larynx (voice box).

About

A laryngectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the larynx (voice box). There are two types of laryngectomy – partial and total. It is a common, but serious treatment for people with laryngeal (larynx) cancer and is sometimes used for people with severe injuries to the neck or with radiation necrosis, when the larynx is damaged from radiation treatment.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Partial laryngectomies are uncommon, but sometimes used to treat laryngeal cancer. During surgery, the affected part of your larynx is removed, leaving some of your vocal chords in place to make talking possible.

    With a total laryngectomy, your whole larynx is removed, making it harder for normal speech to continue afterwards. During surgery, a small, permanent hole will be made in the trachea (called a stoma) to help you to breathe. Afterwards, stitches will be used to close your throat muscles. This is usually offered to people with more advanced stages of laryngeal cancer.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    A laryngectomy is a serious, lengthy treatment lasting between five and 12 hours. The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic, so you will be asleep and won’t feel pain during the procedure.

    You may need to prepare for the surgery by having blood tests and a physical examination beforehand, as well as fasting and stopping certain medications.

    Your consultant will tell you how to prepare for your operation to ensure you know what to expect. They will take time to talk you through the risks and side effects involved and answer any questions you may have.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    When you wake up, you'll be in our intensive care unit (ICU) where our specialist nurses will give you one-to-one care. You might be attached to a respirator to help you breathe and you'll have a tube passed through your nose into your stomach to feed you for the first few weeks.

    After the operation your speaking, swallowing, and breathing will be affected. At HCA UK, our multidisciplinary team will be on hand to help you recover and assist you with learning new ways to perform these tasks after surgery. It can take time to get used to having a stoma, but our team will give you help and advice so you can care for it and keep the area clean.

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.
Consultant in theatres

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 7908 8001
    General enquiries 020 7486 1234

  • The Wellington Hospital - South Building

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 020 7586 5959

  • London Bridge Hospital

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments & Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773

  • The HSC exterior

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London  W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7935 7700
    General enquiries 020 7034 8181

  • The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7730 8298
    General enquiries 020 7730 7733

  • The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • HCA UK at The Wilmslow Hospital

    52-54 Alderley Road

    Wilmslow

    SK9 1NY

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 01615 160 961

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    HCA UK at The Shard

    The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street

    London

    SE1 9BS

    Call 020 3131 6888
    Opening hours 7:30 - 20:00 Monday - Friday

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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