Jefferson University Hospitals

Total Laryngectomy

A total laryngectomy is a surgical procedure in which the whole larynx or voice box is removed, and a stoma (opening) is made in the trachea (windpipe) in the front of the neck in which you will breathe through. This means that the air you breathe in and out will not pass through your nose or mouth. A trach tube may be placed to help keep the new airway open until the skin around the stoma heals.

After Total Laryngectomy

Jefferson otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat physicians) will work with you to explain the procedure and manage your condition post-surgery. After a total laryngectomy, you will need to learn to communicate in other ways since you won't be able to speak. Fortunately, there are several options for restoring your speech; losing your voice box to cancer no longer means losing your ability to talk.

You will not be able to eat or drink after surgery until the swelling is gone and your throat heals.